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First Indiana flu-related death this season confirmed by state health officials

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 28, 2015) -The Indiana State Health Department reported the first flu-associated death in Indiana this season.

This comes very early on in the season and health officials are urging Hoosiers to take this time to get a flu vaccine.

Health officials cannot talk specifically about this case, but they say flu activity here in the state and throughout the country are at minimal levels, but the flu is present year-round.

Flu season in Indiana historically runs from January through March, but the virus is present year round and can have a severe effect on the very young and the elderly.

The virus ramps up in the winter months because it can survive longer in colder air and because people gather together indoors more often.

Health officials say everyone over the age of 6 months should get a vaccination.

“You not only protect yourself you protect your family members, because if you bring it home and they are not vaccinated you could get ill,” said Dr. Mark Tiritilli, from Eskenazi Health Center, Cottage Corner.

You can help prevent the spread of the flu by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.

The Marion County Public Health Department is hosting a Flu Shot Clinic Thursday, Oct. 29  at Cathedral Soup Kitchen on 1350 N. Pennsylvania St. from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Influenza vaccines are $20 for adults and children ages 2-18, and free for children under two years old. Pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccines are $75 or $155, depending on which type of pneumonia vaccine is recommended for the client. Tetanus (Td or Tdap) vaccine is $25. Medicare and Medicaid are accepted. The flu shot clinics are in addition to the vaccines available at the Marion County Public Health Department’s district health offices.