- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio health officials say influenza-like illness has become widespread around the state for the first time this flu season.

The Department of Health says Ohio had 287 new hospitalizations associated with the flu during the first week of January. That’s a little under half of the 650-plus flu hospitalizations reported around Ohio since the flu season started in October.

That number is expected to increase. State officials say Ohio’s flu season typically lasts into May, though the related hospitalizations usually peak between December and February.

There were nearly 3,700 flu-related hospitalizations during last year’s flu season.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu activity has been increasing nationwide, and that is expected to continue for weeks.

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