First infant/toddler flu death reported in Indiana

Death among jump in numbers to 167 for the season

INDIANAPOLIS -- The first flu death in the age range of 0-4 years old was reported this week as part of an overall jump in flu deaths to 167 in total for the season.

Thirty-one (31) new flu deaths were reported this week, according to the Indiana State Department of Health's weekly release on the state of the influenza virus. 

Flu activity continues to be high and widespread, according to the Department of Health.

Complaints in Emergency Departments of flu-like symptoms is at a five-year high, and has sustained its volume since the beginning of 2018.

The rate of flu deaths week-to-week remained similar to the last two weeks. 

More counties reported more than five flu-associated deaths in the past week, growing the list of most affected areas:

The flu is “spread by respiratory droplets released when infected people cough or sneeze nearby or when people touch surfaces or objects contaminated with those infectious respiratory droplets. People can also become infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with influenza viruses and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose,” according to the ISDH.

Symptoms include:

  • fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
  • headache 
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat 

While there is no cure for the flu, some medications can help ease symptoms, according to health officials.

How can you tell if you have the flu, allergies or the traditional cold?

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If you are feeling the effects of allergies, you typically won't have a fever or much fatigue or body aches. If you have a cold, you might have a mild fever and some body aches. You might feel weak and even have some ear congestion. Colds generally last about a week.

If you're diagnosed with the flu, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands and stay home.

All data and charts originated by The Indiana State Department of Health.

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