(Indianapolis, Ind.) - The 2012-2013 flu season is quickly proving to be one of the worst in recent history for Indiana.
The Indiana State Department of Health says there have been seven flu-related deaths across the state since November. Five of those who died were older than 65 and two were under 18.
The flu is peaking earlier than normal this year. The three most common strains of influenza are H3N2, H1N1, and Influenza B, however, the H3N2 strain appears to be most predominant.
“Typically, H3N2 seasons tend to be more severe, with a higher number of hospitalizations and deaths,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D, adding that this is being considered a severe flu season.
The flu vaccination, which is a good match for the most common strains this season, is recommended for anyone six months of age or older, especially those with a higher risk of complications such as pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic illness.
“It is absolutely not too late to become vaccinated. If you have not been vaccinated this year, I encourage you to get vaccinated now to protect you and your family,” Larkin said.
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.
For more information about Indiana’s 2012-2013 influenza season, visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov.