New data shows 167 Hoosiers have died from flu, including patient under 5

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana State Department of Health says flu activity is continuing to rise. According to the latest flu report released on Friday, 167 Hoosiers have died this season. That’s up from last week’s report of 136 people. Additionally, the first death for a child between newborn to 4-years-old was reported.

Of the 167 people who have died across the state, 13 have died in Marion County; 5 in Morgan County; 5 in Tippecanoe County; 9 in Hamilton County; and 6 in Shelby County.

"We are seeing a record number of influenza associated deaths. We've had 167 reported this week as a cumulative for the entire season and we have had several long term care facility outbreaks although this week we did see a little decrease in the number," Shawn Richardson, an outbreak supervisor for ISDH, said.

Richardson said to keep in mind, though, influenza associated deaths have only been reportable since the late 2000's.

“This is a severe flu season, and unfortunately there are no signs that it has peaked yet,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “Hoosiers should do everything they can to protect themselves and their families, including getting a flu vaccine and staying home if they’re sick.”

Although the majority of flu-related deaths in Indiana have occurred in individuals age 65 and older, nearly 83 percent of the influenza-like illnesses reported to ISDH this year involve individuals age 24 and younger, according to the ISDH.

Richardson recommends getting vaccinated, washing your hands and staying home if you are sick.

Click here to read the full report.