INDIANAPOLIS — There have been 54 recorded deaths from flu-related illnesses this season across the state of Indiana.
Half of the deaths reported by the Indiana State Department of Health have been adults ages 65 and older. There has been one pediatric death of a child under the age of 4 and one death between the ages of 5 and 24. The other 25 Hoosiers who died have been between the ages of 25 and 64.
Ten of the 54 Hoosier deaths have been in Marion County and five were reported in Lake County. It is unclear where the other 39 deaths were reported, as the ISDH does not report the counties where a death has occurred unless that county has reached five or more for the season.
Flu activity remains widespread in Indiana which has prompted several central Indiana hospitals to start restricting visitors.
According to the Department of Education there have been a handful of schools that have closed for illness over the past few weeks, although at this time no schools are out for that reason.
The ISDH says 12 long-term care facilities have reported flu outbreaks.
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.
- fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
- 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.
The latest CDC #flu activity report is out. It shows New York City, Puerto Rico and 44 states experiencing high flu activity.
— CDC Flu (@CDCFlu) February 14, 2020