INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Five more flu-related deaths have been reported to the Indiana State Department of Health since the department released its report about deaths Wednesday.
In Wednesday's report, ISDH reported 10 deaths related to influenza statewide. That has jumped to 15 as of Thursday afternoon.
Of the five latest deaths, state health officials say two patients were in long term care facilities. The State Respiratory Epidemiologist, Shawn Richards, says no deaths were reported last year during this time period.
The year before that, two were reported.
So why is it hitting so hard now?
"It just depends on what the virus does and who it infects and how well it is easily transmitted from person to person," Richards said.
State officials are hoping health providers will treat patients with anti-viral medication when needed.
Flu season has peaked early in Indiana. Indianapolis Public Schools has put into place proactive measures to keep from spreading germs throughout school buildings.
Click here for a chart comparing symptoms of the cold and flu.
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Eskenazi Health hospital will officially open for business in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday while nearby Wishard Memorial Hospital will begin to close.