Influenza deaths rise to 70 as flu season nears end

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The Indiana State Department of Health reports two additional flu-related deaths in the state, bringing the total to 70 deaths.

Five of those deaths came in individuals under 18 years of age. Health department officials said 64 of the 70 deaths happened in cases in which the deceased had an underlying medical condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, cardiac and renal diseases.

Flu season generally runs from October through May. Even though the flu season is nearing its end, health officials are still urging Hoosiers to follow good hygiene habits to prevent further spread.

“Although we are nearing the end of flu season, it’s not over yet and there’s still a very real risk of becoming ill with influenza,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Your best defense at this point is to continue to be diligent with hand washing. Severe flu seasons, such as this one, demonstrate the importance of getting vaccinated each and every year and as early in the season as possible.”

Flu symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat and body aches. Anyone experiencing symptoms should contact a doctor. Anyone over the age of 65 are more prone to potentially fatal flu complications and should seek treatment quickly, doctors said.