Fifteen people have died in Indiana due to the flu, confirmed the Indiana State Department of Health Thursday.
The flu has been spreading rapidly across the United States, with a total of 41 states reporting widespread activity.
Health officials said the flu season began earlier and had more severe cases than last year. The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flu advisory report, which covers the week of December 23 to 29, suggests that 41 states have widespread influenza activity, which was an increase of 31 states from the previous week.
There have so far been 2,257 hospitalizations associated with laboratory-confirmed flu virus, the CDC report said. Among children, there have been 18 deaths reported during this season.
“We are now well into what appears to be a somewhat severe flu season,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. “However, it is absolutely not too late to become vaccinated. If you have not been vaccinated this year, I encourage you to get vaccinated now to protect you and your family.”
Symptoms of the flu include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, headache, fatigue, cough, muscle aches and a sore throat.
Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone 6 months of age or older. It is especially important for those at higher risk of complications related to the flu to become vaccinated. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly.