The Kent Health Department, via the Portage County Health Department, has added a flu shot clinic this week as cases of the flu remain high throughout Northeast Ohio.
Kent will host a flu shot clinic from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the health department, which is located at 325 S. DePeyster St. across from Kent Fire Station One.
The two-hour clinic does not require an appointment. The cost for a flu shot is $10 for children and $20 for adults.
Ohio's flu level activity has been deemed "widespread" with an unusually high level of cases tracked by the Ohio Department of Health, which reports there have been increases in the flu and flu-like illnesses throughout half the regions of the state.
So far this flu season, 1,922 people have been hospitalized statewide due to the flu as of Jan. 5, according to the ODH.
"The current number of hospitalizations compares to 175 in the 2010-11 season and 86 in the 2011-12 season," according to the ODH. "Flu season in Ohio does not usually go into high gear until January or February but this year the state saw the number of influenza-related hospitalizations almost triple by early December."
Because of the high level of cases administrators at Kent State University are telling students who are sick to stay home, as Monday marked the start of classes for the spring semester.
The university strongly encourages students with the flu or flu-like symptoms not to attend courses and other public events on campus. Officials advise students who miss courses to contact their professors.
“Patients are often surprised by how very ill they feel with influenza,” said Dr. Angela DeJulius, Kent State’s chief university physician. “Prescription antiviral medicines can sometimes help to reduce the duration of illness, but are not a cure. The flu usually lasts at least a week.
“It is not too late to be immunized, as flu season often continues into February or even later,” DeJulius said.