State DPH: Flu-related illnesses on the uptick


Flu activity in the state is classified as "regional", meaning there have been outbreaks of influenza or increases in flu-like illnesses and recent lab-confirmed influenza in at least two, but less than half the regions of the state. The state is also seeing regional flu activity. Vaccines are available at the county health department every weekday, from 8 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. Call the health department at 812-481-7050 for information. The other two states seeing high influenza volumes are MS and Louisiana.

The CDC offers a number of tips to help prevent the spread of the flu.

According to World Health Organization, previous global estimates of death resulting from such respiratory diseases from the flu sat between 250,000 and 500,000, but now new figures show that has jumped to 290,000 to 650,000.

As the vaccine for this year's northern hemisphere flu season is the same, that could mean the season may be especially severe.

The county reminds its residents there is no live virus in flu shots and the vaccine can not cause the flu.

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Across the Commonwealth, the highest number of flu-related hospital visits reported are in very young children - from newborn to four-years-old.

According to an analysis published in the November 29 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, the flu vaccine is not as effective against this year's flu strain that is going around, H3N2, as it has been in previous flu seasons. For accurate, clinical based evidence on the flu shot visit the CDC's website at and do yourself, your family, and your co-workers a favor and get your flu shot if you haven't already. Both the CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend flu shots for all women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season.

The flu has now killed one person in Tulsa County, the first death here this season. "And, since there is some question that the flu might peak around the holidays, my recommendation is to not wait any longer", said Dr. Daniel Skiest, vice-chair of the Department of Medicine and an infectious disease specialist at Baystate Medical Center, in a statement urging people to get vaccinated. "Most insurances are paying for flu shots, so it's really not a cost to you".

Dr. Wallace said children are more likely to get the flu because they're always close to other children.

With flu cases on the rise across the country, local health officials urge people to get vaccinated.