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Prepare for flu season PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, December 16, 2012 3:32 PM

Wintertime is here and healthwise that means one thing: Flu season. State health officials are urging Hoosiers to be prepared and take preventative steps as influenza or the “flu” can be dangerous.

“Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to avoid the flu,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. The vaccine also comes in a nasal spray for people who do not like shots. Individuals should also practice frequent, thorough hand washing and avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth without washing their hands first.”

The flu is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is spread by respiratory droplets from close contact with infected persons or contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Infection can occur when influenza viruses contact the eyes, mouth or nose and possibly through inhaling droplets from a sneeze or cough.

Currently, Indiana is having normal flu activity, but the Indiana State Department of Health is expecting to see an increase in flu cases as the season continues.

Symptoms of the flu include fever 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or greater, headache, fatigue, cough, muscle aches and sore throat.

High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children (especially those too young to get vaccinated), people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly.

“It’s not too late to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Larkin.  “The best time is now, but Hoosiers can still get vaccinated through the winter months.”

For more information on influenza and the seasonal flu vaccine, visit http://www.in.gov/isdh/25462.htm.