Flu activity still high and widespread across Indiana

Health officials report that flu activity in the state of Indiana only continues to rise.

Posted: Feb. 9, 2018 12:43 PM
Updated: Feb. 9, 2018 7:43 PM

INDIANA (WTHI) - Health officials report that flu activity in the state of Indiana only continues to rise.

The Indiana State Department of Health reports influenza activity is high and widespread across the state.

So far, 167 people have died from the flu in Indiana.

According to ISDH’s weekly influenza report, emergency departments and outpatient providers continue to see increased visits from individuals with flu-like illness.

“This is a severe flu season, and unfortunately there are no signs that it has peaked yet,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “Hoosiers should do everything they can to protect themselves and their families, including getting a flu vaccine and staying home if they’re sick.”

Children, the elderly, pregnant women and people whose immune systems are compromised are especially susceptible to the flu.

Although the majority of flu-related deaths in Indiana have occurred in individuals age 65 and older, nearly 83 percent of the influenza-like illnesses reported to ISDH this year involve individuals age 24 and younger.

“Unfortunately, flu can spread rapidly in communal settings like classrooms and nursing homes, but no one is immune from the flu,” Dr. Box said. “Facilities that are experiencing high rates of flu should ensure that they are cleaning and disinfecting regularly and that ill individuals are isolated to help prevent additional cases of the flu.”

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.

Hoosiers can help prevent the spread of flu by practicing the “Three Cs” of infection prevention:
Clean: Properly wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
Cover: Cover your cough and sneeze into your arm or a disposable tissue.
Contain: Stay home when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.

To view the ISDH weekly flu report, click here.

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