FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018

CDC announces first influenza deaths of the season

The Indiana State Department of Health is urging all Hoosiers to get vaccinated against influenza in response to the first confirmed influenza-associated deaths of the 2013-2014 flu season.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported three influenza-associated deaths, including children, from across the nation. The CDC expects the number of infections, and potentially deaths, to increase as the season progresses.

"Flu activity is increasing around the state," Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. William VanNess said. "The recent deaths remind us that influenza can be very serious and even deadly. I encourage all Hoosiers to become vaccinated from flu to protect themselves, their families and the community."

State health officials are recommending all persons at higher risk for infection get vaccinated against the influenza. Persons with high risk of contracting influenza include pregnant women, young children, people with compromised immune systems, people with chronic illnesses and the elderly.

Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone older than six months of age and especially for those at higher risk of infection. This season, state officials are also encouraging health care workers, household workers, persons in contact with high-risk individuals and caregivers of children less than six months of age to get vaccinated as well.

VanNess asked all Hoosiers to help prevent the spread of infection by washing hands frequently, covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and staying home if infected.