Local health officials are asking residents to prepare themselves for the impending flu season. Nichole Bache, Director of Nursing for the New Philadelphia City Health Department, says local cases of the flu are starting out slow. Approximately 338 hospitalized cases of the flu have been reported statewide to the Ohio Department of Health. Bache says this season is pretty much on par when compared to years past. Bache notes that a number of H1N1 flu cases have already been reported this year. Bache says residents can help ward off the flu by keeping in mind the following tips. For flu vaccination information, contact your doctor or call the New Philadelphia City Health Department at 330-364-4491.