YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Centers for Disease Control said flu activity has remained low across the country this year, and Valley doctors say they have been seeing the same trend locally.
“We are only seeing about one to two cases a week here in our walk-in clinic, and generally, by this time of year, we have had a massive explosion of the flu,” said Ready Care Physician Assistant Melinda Morrow.
Peak flu season is typically not until the second week of February, but milder weather may also be a factor delaying this year’s flu.
Doctors say there are several factors that contribute to the low flu activity.
“I think a lot of it is because the flu vaccine is a little bit more accurate this year, and I think that’s where we are seeing a little bit of a decrease, not only locally, but nationally as well,” said Dr. Michael Sevilla, a physician at Family Practice Center of Salem.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the best way to protect yourself from the flu is getting a flu shot. There are other simple ways that you can avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others, including:
- Washing your hands with soap and water
- Covering your cough
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Staying hydrated
- Exercising regularly
The Ohio Health Department has a Flu Shot Finder, a free online service that users can search for locations that offer flu shots.
With the peak season just around the corner, doctors recommend getting your shot sooner rather than later. It can take up to two weeks for your body to respond to the vaccination.