50 Flu-Related Deaths In Indiana, So Far
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana’s latest report on the flu shows a huge jump in flu related deaths.
The Indiana Department of Health reported this week that 50 people have died so far this flu season. The numbers are based on the tally through the first week of the year.
As of the last week of 2017, 25 people had died, meaning the state’s death toll doubled in just one week.
“Unfortunately, as in years past, we are seeing increasing flu activity and the heartbreaking consequences it can have,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “I urge Hoosiers who haven’t received a flu shot yet to do so. It’s the best way to prevent this serious illness or decrease its severity.”
Health departments report increased influenza activity across the state, including at several long-term care facilities. Elderly residents and people with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible to the virus.
Of those 50 Hoosiers who have died of the flu, 36 of the victims were age 65 or older.
Individuals who are experiencing flu-like symptoms are urged to contact their physician or visit an urgent care facility to keep emergency rooms available for people who are critically ill. Patients whose symptoms began within 48 hours are encouraged to ask their provider whether Tamiflu, an antiviral medication, is appropriate.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age six months and older get a flu vaccine each year.