Second Child Dies From Flu Illness In Columbiana County

For the second time in two weeks, a child dies from influenza related illness in Columbiana County, Ohio. On Jan 28, 2017, CJ Avila from Salem, passed away. On Feb 11, 2017, Colton Williams from East Liverpool passed away at East Liverpool City Hospital.

According to the CDC, there have been 20 pediatric deaths nationally from influenza related illnesses. In Ohio, in addition to the two pediatric deaths here in Columbiana County, there was the death of a 6 year old girl in Cuyahoga County, and the death of a 7 year old girl in Fulton County.

In the past two weeks, I've been getting a lot of questions about influenza, especially with these deaths locally. Is it time to panic? Absolutely not! But, here is some information to know during this critical time.

Is it too late to get a flu shot? Absolutely not! Visit your doctor as soon as you can. However, you have to know that the flu shot does not immediately take effect. It may take up to two weeks for your immune system to respond. Until then, wash your hands frequently and utilize the other preventative measures below.

How does the flu spread? Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. People infected may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick.

What are everyday preventative actions?

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you (or your child) stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. The fever should be gone without use of medication.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Thanks to WKBN-TV for including a soundbite in their report: "7-Year-Old East Liverpool Dies After Flu-Related Illness" from Feb 13, 2017