Indiana Reaches 70 Flu Deaths this Season

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (WOWO): Two flu-related deaths have been reported this week by the Indiana State Department of Health. That brings the total of flu-related deaths this season to 70, five of those in individuals younger than 18 years old. The vast majority (64) of deaths occurred in individuals with underlying medical conditions.

“Although we are nearing the end of flu season, it’s not over yet and there’s still a very real risk of becoming ill with influenza,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Your best defense at this point is to continue to be diligent with hand washing. Severe flu seasons, such as this one, demonstrate the importance of getting vaccinated each and every year and as early in the season as possible.”

Flu season generally runs from October through May. Dr. VanNess says practicing the following “Three C’s” will help protect you and prevent the spread of flu:

Clean: properly wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.

Cover: cover your cough and sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.

Contain: stay home from school/work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.

Health officials say the continued number of deaths and illnesses stress the importance of getting vaccinated each year and practicing good hand hygiene to prevent the spread of flu. 

For more information about Indiana’s 2012-2013 influenza season, visit the Indiana State Department of Health at