First flu-related death of season reported in Indiana

Flu Vaccine

The Indiana State Department of Health has reported the state's first flu-related death of the 2019-20 flu season.

Posted: Oct 22, 2019 10:31 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2019 11:08 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) — The Indiana State Department of Health has reported the state's first flu-related death of the 2019-20 flu season. The department said it happened in Marion County.

The CDC recommends people 6 months and up get an influenza vaccine each year. State Heath Commissioner Kris Box said because infants younger than 6 months can’t be vaccinated, it’s important that anyone in a household where a young baby lives or visits get a flu shot to protect the child. Healthcare workers also are urged to get a flu vaccine to reduce their risk of transmitting illness to their patients.

“This is a tragic reminder that we should never underestimate how serious the flu can be,” said Box. “Vaccination is the best defense against influenza, so please make sure you and your loved ones receive a flu shot.”

The department said it takes about two weeks after the vaccine for antibodies to develop in the body. The CDC recommends an early vaccination. The season typically runs from October to May. 

Influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory tract, according to a news release. It is spread by respiratory droplets released when infected people cough or sneeze nearby or when people touch surfaces or objects contaminated with those infectious respiratory droplets. People can also become infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with influenza viruses and then touching their eyes, mouths or noses.

Although anyone can get the flu, some people are at higher risk of flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, hospitalization and death. More than 110 Hoosiers died from influenza-associated illnesses during the 2018-19 flu season. Those most at risk include pregnant women, young children (especially those too young to get vaccinated), people with chronic illnesses, people who are immunocompromised and the elderly. It is especially important for these individuals to be vaccinated each year.

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

Fever of 100° Fahrenheit or greater
Headache
Fatigue
Cough
Muscle aches
Sore throat
Runny or stuffy nose

People can help prevent the spread of flu by washing their hands frequently and thoroughly, avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth with their hands and staying home when sick. Hoosiers should practice the “Three Cs” to help prevent the spread of flu and other infectious diseases:

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 from school or work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
Elkhart17663230
St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
Vermillion6607
Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
Union2782
Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
Unassigned0266

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