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Indiana's health commissioner urges Hoosiers to get flu shots

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Posted at 7:04 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 19:04:48-05

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s health commissioner is urging Hoosiers to get their flu shots and take other precautions amid a surge in flu-related illnesses and deaths.

State Health Commissioner Kris Box said Monday that anyone who hasn’t received a flu shot should do so soon because the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent influenza, decrease its severity and prevent flu-related deaths.

READ | Indiana flu deaths nearly triple in one week

She says residents should also wash their hands in warm, soapy water, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing and stay at home if they’re sick.

The State Department of Health says 25 flu-related deaths had been recorded statewide by Dec. 30 during the current flu season.

Those most vulnerable to the flu include the elderly, pregnant women, young children and people with chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems.

READ | These hospitals are restricting visitors because of the flu

Flu 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.

CALL 6 | 1,600 clinic patients notified flu shots, other vaccines may be ineffective

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.

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