Health department reports 11 flu-related deaths in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 17, 2014) – Eleven people have died from the flu, according to state health officials.

St. Joseph County has been hit particularly hard by the current flu season, with six deaths reported there. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, no other Indiana county has reported more than one flu-related death. The department does not report counties with less than five deaths. All but one death involved an individual between the ages of 25 and 64.

State health officials said there are two types of vaccines available for the flu season. One protects against the three most common strains: H3N2, H1N1 and one type of Influenza B. Another vaccine provides protection against those flu strains and a second Influenza B strain. So far, the H1N1 strain appears to be the dominant one.

A flu vaccine locator tool can be found on the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.StateHealth.in.gov.

State health officials also encourage flu vaccinations for health care workers, household contacts and caregivers of children less than 6 months of age, as well as household contacts of people at high risk for flu complications.

The department said young and middle-aged adults have been hit harder than normal during the flu season, which can last through April.

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
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