Flu Shot File Photo
Updated: Wednesday, 23 Jan 2013, 12:28 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 23 Jan 2013, 12:19 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WTHI) - According to a new release from the Indiana State Department of Health, the number of flu-related illness deaths have increased to 40.
Of the 40 dead, 38 individuals had underlying medical conditions such as hearth disease, diabetes, asthma and renal disease. Also of the 40 deaths, 33 have occurred in individuals older than 65 years and two of the deaths occurred in individuals younger than 18 years.
The spread of this most recent strain of flu virus has affected many in the Wabash Valley as well, and health officials are encouraging all to get a flue shot if they haven’t already. Though the flu vaccine does not guarantee immunity, it is still the best protection from flu.
“While everyone should get their flu vaccine, individuals with underlying medical conditions are clearly at high risk this season and absolutely need to be vaccinated,” said State Health Commissioner William C. VanNess II, M.D. “Flu activity remains high and we simply don’t know if it has peaked yet. Continue to wash your hands often, cover your cough and stay home if you are sick.”
Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone six months of age or older. It is especially important for those at higher risk of complications related to the flu, to get vaccinated. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly.
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.
Some ways you can protect yourself and others from getting sick:
All of these ways can all help reduce the spread of the flu.
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