The report does not say where the deaths have occurred, but says flu activity is widespread across the state.
Of the cases, 406 were confirmed influenza and 311 people were hospitalized - with more than half in the 65-plus age group. The Ohio Department of Health is reporting over 2,000 flu hospitalizations in Ohio, a big increase from the 369 cases at this time past year.
The influenza is in its peak months in January and February, and, during the last week of 2017, "influenza activity increased sharply in the United States", the CDC said.
The most recent influenza-related deaths were an elderly female and an older female in southeast Iowa, an elderly northeast Iowa woman, and an elderly man in northwest Iowa.
This year, 13 people have died of influenza across the nation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Genesis says only parents, grandparents, clergy and siblings age 12 and older who are free of flu symptoms may visit infants in the OB Special Care nursery.
"Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, family members and others from the flu and help keep our community healthy", Blount County's Health Director Robert Schmidt said in the release.
But one particular strain that's been circulating - the H3N2 - has been less responsive to the vaccine.
Hasselback said people are not typically told to avoid visiting facilities with flu outbreaks.
"More people had flu, with more attending primary care and requiring hospitalisation than in previous years". Some pharmacies have also reported shortages of the Tamiflu medication. It would be effective for the rest of the season, which typically lasts through April.
The vaccine that Cook County health officials have on hand has an effective rate of 32 percent, which physicians say would prevent complications in chronically ill patients.
"The message is flu still kills people and it's something that is very serious", said Lora Piccinin, manager of infectious disease prevention for the health unit.
In Chicago, emergency rooms busy dealing with the flu have led to a backup in the admission of ambulance patients.
"We're seeing a high level of stress right now, where at any given time hospitals are on complete bypass saying don't bring anybody here", Langford said.
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