Flu cases, deaths up from last week

Flu now widespread in 35 states

INDIANAPOLIS - Flu cases have spiked both nationwide and in Indiana. Thirty-five states are now reporting a widespread flu outbreak, up from 25 states last week, and a more potent virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 2,600 people have been hospitalized with the flu this season. Ten children have died – four of them just last week.

Donald and Lucille Bradley decided to get flu shots after seeing reports about how quickly the virus has been spreading.

"I do an out ministry. We carry communion out and visit the sick and I felt that I needed to get a flu shot so I do not carry any germs to them," Donald Bradley said. "I didn't do one last year and I got deathly ill."

Jesse Beer missed a week of work last January because of the flu. He was also concerned about the recent spike of cases and deaths reported, so he took advantage of a lunch-hour flu clinic offered by the Visiting Nurse Service at St. Francis .

"Especially with how closely we work to other people and you never know the people they've touched and the germs they have. You just want to make sure you're covered. So this is one way to do it," Beer said.

The vaccines all protect against H1N1, which is the strain being seen most this season. What is different is who is getting hit worse.

For the first time since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, it's the otherwise healthy, young adults who are being hospitalized most with flu.

It’s possible the reason is because that age group is least likely to get vaccinated, but nurse Julie Bargerhuff said it's not too late.

"It's a little pain, a little pinch, but it's worth it," Bargerhuff said.

The Visiting Nurse Service at St. Francis doesn't have another clinic scheduled, but officials said to call for an appointment to get a flu shot.

Experts said most places still have plenty of shots available, but many of the flu mists have already expired.

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