Forty people in Indiana have died from influenza-like illness this 2012/1013 season, state health officials reported Wednesday.
Of the 40 people who died, 38 had underlying medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, asthma or renal disease – and 33 were older than 65. Two were younger than 18.
In neighboring Illinois, 50 people have died, according to state health officials who also report that 476 people have been admitted to hospital intensive care. That figure is the most recent available, as each state releases updated numbers every Friday.
Meanwhile, Indiana health officials encourage all Hoosiers to get vaccinated to help protect against the flu. A flu shot locator can be found on the Indiana State Department of Health website at http://www.statehealth.in.gov/ or by visiting http://www.flu.gov/.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported this season’s flu vaccine as being approximately 62 percent effective. Although getting a flu shot does not guarantee immunity, health officials say it will still reduce the severity of symptoms if you do get the flu while stressing that a vaccine is still the best protection from influenza-like illness.
This season’s vaccine offers protection against the three most common strains of influenza: H3N2, H1N1 and Influenza B. The H3N2 strain appears to be predominant thus far in the 2012-13 flu season.
Symptoms of influenza include high fever, headache, fatigue, cough, muscle aches and sore throat.