Flu-related deaths in state reach 44

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Another person has died in connection with the flu outbreak, said officials with the Indiana State Department of Health Monday.

A total of 44 people Indiana have now died due to flu-related illnesses.

Health officials said a majority of the deceased individuals had underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma and renal disease.  A large majority of the deaths were people older than 65 years old.

State health officials told Fox59 the flu deaths do not appear to be concentrated in any single corner of the state.  Marion County is the only county with five or more deaths, which means the remaining 35 deaths occurred in counties that have four or less fatalities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this year’s flu season began earlier than usual and quickly became severe, with outbreaks reported nationwide.

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.

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