Two more reported dead from flu in Toledo area

Flu vaccine shot encouraged by health department as area death toll rises to 7


FILE - This Oct. 17, 2012 file photo shows a flu shot administered in Jackson, Miss. More children than ever got vaccinated against the flu last year, and health officials are urging families to do even better this time around. A severe flu strain swept the country last winter, sparking a scramble for last-minute vaccinations. There's no way to predict if this year will be as bad. But protection requires a yearly vaccine, either a shot or nasal spray. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it's time for people to start getting immunized. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)


Health officials in Lucas County and Lenawee County said today that two more people have died from flu-related illnesses, bringing the area's total number of flu victims to seven in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Lenawee County health officials confirmed a man in his mid-50's who died last week is the first reported flu-related death in that area.

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said they learned today that a 60-year-old man from Curtice, Ohio died from influenza at St. Charles Hospital in Oregon. Five people have died in Lucas County, one in Monroe County, and the additional victim in Lenawee County.

Patsy Bourgeois, Lenawee County health officer, would not provide information about where the man lived or where he died. She said “he likely died from H1N1."

In Lenawee County, there have been 39 lab confirmed cases of the flu this season with eight of those cases testing positive for the H1N1 virus, said Ms. Bourgeois.

“This year's flu is affecting the 18-59-year-old group particularly hard," she said, noting the people are generally healthy and active.

She said the community continues to see an increase in the number of influenza cases but “it's still too early to tell which way it is going to go. It is only in hindsight that you can see the peak of the season,” she said.

The flu season generally runs from October through the spring in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio.The Lenawee County Health Department has added numerous flu shot clinics this week and next.The first is Thursday from 1-4:30 p.m. The information on all dates and times can be found by calling 517-264-5226 and choosing option 2.

The current seasonal vaccine includes protection against the H1N1 strain, said Ms. Bourgeois.