IN Health Officials Report First Flu-Related Death of Flu Season

Indiana health officials are reporting the first influenza-associated death in the state for the 2016-17 flu season.

Information on the patient is not being released due to privacy laws.

State health officials say influenza activity is currently minimal in both the state and country, but they encourage Hoosiers to get a flu vaccine.

"It's heartbreaking every year to learn that a Hoosier has died from the flu," said Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. "Unfortunately, the flu can have serious and even deadly consequences, which is why it's so important for people to get vaccinated."

Officials say everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.

Influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It's spread by respiratory droplets released when infected people cough or sneeze nearby, or when people touch surfaces or objects contaminated with these infectious droplets.

Flu symptoms include:

  • fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
  • headache 
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat

Health officials say Hoosiers should practice the “Three Cs” to help prevent the spread of flu and other infectious diseases:

  • Clean: Properly wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
  • Cover: Cover your cough and sneeze into your arm or a disposable tissue.
  • Contain: Stay home from school or work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.

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