INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana State Department of Health reported 13 more flu related deaths Wednesday, bringing the state's death toll from flu-related illnesses to 40.
For the week of Jan. 13-Jan. 19, Marion County hospitals reported 517 visits for flu-like symptoms, which is more than 5-percent of all emergency room visits. This is a 28-percent increase from the 403 visits reported Jan. 6-Jan. 12. While the number of visits increased, the rate of growth (28-percent) decreased from the previous week when numbers grew by 69-percent, the Marion County Public Health Department reported.
Marion County also reports three additional deaths related to the flu, bringing the total number of influenza-related deaths this season in Marion County to five.
The visitor restriction policy put in place last Friday, Jan. 18, at Marion County hospitals remains in place. The policy will remain until Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the MCPHD, along with hospital partners in the Indianapolis Coalition for Public Safety, determine the restrictions are no longer needed.
“It is important that everyone receive a flu shot during this aggressive flu season,” said Dr. Caine. “By offering an opportunity like this, we can vaccinate people who otherwise might not get this added layer of protection from the flu.”
The MCPHD continues to offer low-cost flu shots at its district health offices. Adult flu shots are $15, children ages 2-18 are $10, and infants under the age of 2 are free. A list of locations is available by calling the Flu Hotline, 317-221-2121, or going to MCHD.com.