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Indiana Flu Deaths Increase to 70

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Two flu-related deaths have been reported this week by the Indiana State Department of Health, bringing the current total of flu-related deaths this season in the state to seventy. Five deaths occurred in individuals younger than 18 years of age. Five deaths occurred in Lake County, though no other information was released. The department does not report the number of deaths in a county until that number reaches five. Sixty-four of the cases involved individuals with underlying medical conditions. Flu season generally runs from October through May. State Health Commissioner Dr. William VanNess says everyone should still be diligent with hand washing.
Additional tips from the Indiana State Department of Health:
Dr. VanNess says practicing the following “Three C’s” will help protect you and prevent the spread of flu.
·        Clean: properly wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
·        Cover: cover your cough and sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.
·        Contain: stay home from school/work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.
Flu symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat and body aches. Anyone experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider. Individuals 65 and older are more susceptible to complications and death from flu and are urged to seek treatment quickly if they experience symptoms.
Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone six months of age or older. It is especially important for those at higher risk of complications related to the flu, to get vaccinated. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly. Because the vaccine can be less effective for people 65 and older, it is especially important for others to get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of flu to individuals in that age group.
For more information about Indiana’s 2012-2013 influenza season, visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov
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