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The Scoop

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Flu-related deaths reach 21 in Indiana

Statement as issued Monday afternoon by the Indiana State Department of Health:

INDIANAPOLIS – The number of flu-related deaths in Indiana has now reached 21. Health officials say two of the deaths occurred in individuals younger than 18 years of age.

No official shortages of the influenza vaccine have been reported, state health officials say; however, it may be more difficult to find the vaccine due to the current high demand. A flu vaccine locator can be found at www.Flu.gov. Flu vaccine can typically be found at local health departments, pharmacies and with health care providers.

The 2012/13 vaccine offers protection against the three most common strains of influenza: H3N2, H1N1, and Influenza B. The H3N2 strain appears to be predominant thus far in the 2012/13 flu season.

Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone 6 months of age or older. It is especially important for those at higher risk of complications related to the flu to get vaccinated. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly.

Some other tips to help protect against the spread of influenza include:

• 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 advise to contact your health care provider if you experience the following influenza symptoms, whether or not you have been vaccinated:

• Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater

• Headache

• Fatigue

• Cough

• Muscle aches

• Sore throat

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

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