Claims that Madison County has been hit with a flu pandemic are false

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. – We are learning claims that a central Indiana county is experiencing a flu pandemic are false.

The Indiana State Department of Health tells us flu activity in Madison County and all of Indiana is high and widespread, but does not meet the qualifications to be a pandemic.

Here is what we do know, right now four people in Madison County have died from the flu. Dozens of others have gotten sick with the virus but none of that total as a possible pandemic.

In fact, according to the CDC, an influenza pandemic is a global outbreak of a new virus. It spreads from person to person in an efficient and sustained way.

“I have not received any type of communication declaring it a pandemic,” said Madison County Health Department administrator Stephanie Grimes.

As for the pandemic flu, it is pretty rare.

According to the CDC, it’s only happened three times in the 20th century and right now no part of the U.S. is at that level. Still, the Madison County Health Department stresses that it is important to be vigilant.

“We are still pushing the flu shots and telling people to stay at home if they are sick and wash your hands,” said Grimes.

In Indiana this season, 136 people have died from the flu. New numbers from the state health department are expected to be released Friday.