INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana State Health Department reported the first flu-associated death in Indiana this season.
Health officials cannot talk specifically about this case, but they say flu activity here in the state and throughout the country are at minimal levels, but the flu is present year-round.
Flu season in Indiana historically runs from January through March, but the virus is present year round and can have a severe effect on the very young and the elderly.
Officials encourage Hoosiers are to get a flu vaccine.
Although anyone can get the flu, some people are at higher risk of flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, hospitalization and death. High-risk individuals include pregnant women, young children (especially those too young to get vaccinated), people with chronic illnesses, people who are immune-compromised and the elderly.
Flu symptoms include:
- fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
- muscle aches
- sore throat
The virus ramps up in the winter months because it can survive longer in colder air and because people gather together indoors more often.
Health officials say 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.