Indiana health officials claim flu levels spiking, worse this year

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Experts predict a busy flu season in Indiana. The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control shows 41 states with widespread flu outbreak, and Indiana is one of them.

In fact, more people are sick in Indiana today than they have been in years past.

“A lot of people I know have been sick,” said Mary Weiz, who got vaccinated for the first time this year.

“My boy, he’s gotten it a couple of times, so, it has been hectic,” said Mike Goletz, who also said several people are sick at work.

Flu season hit early this year, and it came on strong, according to Indiana state health officials.

About five percent of the people being seen in area hospitals are suffering from influenza-like illnesses, and seven percent of the people visiting their doctors are suffering the same fate.

“We’re having a lot of influenza activity not only at Riley Hospital for Children, but all over the state. Our adult colleagues in other hospitals in the region have seen a lot of influenza admissions too and a lot of visits to the emergency room,” said Dr. John Christenson with Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

Two days before symptoms show, a person can be infected with the flu and contagious.

“It does not appear to be peaking yet, and it’s not a guarantee that we won’t have a double peak year,” said Shawn Richards with the Indiana State Department of Health.

“Right now, it’s recommended that everyone above the age of six months in the United States get vaccinated against influenza, everyone. We’re not talking about people with asthma or heart problems. We’re talking about everybody,” said Christenson.

In other words, he said it is definitely not too late to get vaccinated.

“I was in the hospital, and they gave it to me,” said John Weiz.

While the vaccine does not guarantee everyone protection at all times, health officials say it will improve your odds in the majority of cases.

“It was terrible, terrible. I actually wanted to die,” said Colin Fahey, who described what it was like when he had the flu.

The flu could remain at this elevated level for several weeks and possibly months.


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