The Cuyahoga County Board of Health reports the number of northeast Ohio flu cases continue to grow, as we move through the second week of January.
Richard Stacklin, board of health data analyst, told News 5 more than 250 people have now been hospitalized with the flu in northeast Ohio over the past three weeks.
He said flu related cases are already at a five year high.
Stacklin said it's not too late to get a flu shot, with certain strains still an issue until April.
Stacklin said early reports that this year's flu shot may only be ten percent effective, have now been adjusted to 30 percent effective by leaders with the Centers for Disease Control.
Stacklin urged continual hand washing, especially when preparing food or tending to the young or the elderly.
"Simple things like touching a door knob. Some people might think, oh I'll open this door knob, and if somebody already had the flu, it can stay on there for several hours," said Stacklin.
"It's still worth it to get a flu shot, typically flu does not end until the end of April. Strains hit at different times of the year, especially the H1N1 and the B strains."
Dr. Louis Horwitz, emergency room doctor with University Hospitals, told News 5 he's not sure how far the flu will spread this year, with more than 41,000 cases already reported nationwide.
"When it comes to the flu shot, they kind of have to guess a little bit as to what the virus is going to be the next year. It looks like they guessed wrong," said Horwitz. "Stay home, stay in bed, don't go to work, don't go to school. You don't have to come to the hospital. Just take Tylenol, rest and take fluids, it will be over in three to five days."
This year's flu cases have some local hospitals restricting visiting hours for patients, especially patients who are under 18.
Information on the this years fight against the flu, and where to get a flu shot can be found the Cuyahoga County Board of Health website.