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State reports 19 flu deaths across Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 23, 2014) – The latest influenza report from the Indiana State Department of Health shows eight more Hoosiers have died from the flu.

The weekly report released said 19 people have died across Indiana. That’s up from last week, when the state reported 11 flu-related deaths.

Six of the eight deaths for the week ending Jan. 18 involved people 65 or older, according to the report.

Of the 19 total deaths, six were people ages 25-49, six were people 50-64 and seven were 65 or older.

According to state health officials, St. Joseph County is the only Indiana county with five or more flu-related deaths. The health department does not report counties with less than five deaths.

The report showed flu activity decreased from the previous week, but that may be attributed to snowy, cold conditions that have kept students out of school, limiting exposure the flu virus.

The department said young and middle-aged adults have been hit harder than normal during the flu season, which can last through April. Health officials encourage Hoosiers to get a flu shot. A flu vaccine locator tool can be found on the Indiana State Department of Health’s website.

Health officials also encourage people to practice the “Three Cs” to help prevent spread of flu and other infectious diseases:

  • 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

Contact a health care provider if you experience the following influenza symptoms, even if you have been vaccinated:

  • Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat