Indiana flu deaths nearly triple in one week

INDIANAPOLIS -- Deadly flu cases in the state of Indiana have nearly tripled within one week, according to the state health department.

For the week ending Dec. 30, the state reported 25 flu-related deaths for the season. There were only nine deaths reported the previous week. 

23 of the 25 deaths were in persons ages 50 - 65+.

The report does not say where in Indiana the deaths have occurred.

Source: Indiana State Department of Health

The first flu-related death in Indiana for the 2017-18 season was reported on December 8, more than a month later than the first death of 2016. The first death of the season was a juvenile, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Flu activity is widespread in Indiana which has prompted several central Indiana hospitals to start restricting visitors. 

READ | These hospitals are restricting visitors because of the flu

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?

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.

RELATED | Do you have allergies, a cold, or the flu? | How difficult is it to avoid the flu? | When does flu season begin? | 4 apps to use during flu season 

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