Flu-related deaths increase to 56

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Four additional Hoosiers have died from flu-related complications, the Indiana State Health Department announced Wednesday.

Health officials said flu deaths increased to 56. A majority of the flu-related deaths involved people who had underlying medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes or asthma. The department said two counties now have five or more deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been closely monitoring the flu season, which started earlier than usual and quickly became more severe. Several states, including Indiana, had flu outbreaks.

Symptoms of influenza include: high fever, headache, fatigue, cough, muscle aches and sore throat. Health officials encourage anyone experiencing these symptoms to contact their health care provider.

The CDC recommends everyone six months old and older get vaccinated. If you haven’t gotten an annual flu vaccine, it’s not too late, doctors say. To further protect yourself, try to avoid anyone who is sneezing and coughing, and wash your hands.