October marks the start of flu season in Indiana. State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin is recommending everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated. He says the H1N1 virus is no longer considered a pandemic health issue, but says that could change. Larkin says it’s important to get vaccinated to prevent another H1N1 scare.
“It’s clear to us, the H1N1 pandemic is over,” Larkin said, “but that doesn’t mean that the influenza season is over.”
This year’s flu vaccine does contain the H1N1 flu strain along with two other strains of the virus. Respiratory epidemiologist Shawn Richards says there’s also a new strain this year that is expected to be an issue.
“In our sister states there has been significant H3N2 circulating,” Richards said. “We have not had any positives in Indiana but be certainly expect that to start at anytime.”
Richards says the peak time for infection in Indiana usually occurs in January or February.