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Swine Flu Returns to Indiana, But It’s Less Threatening

The swine flu is the same strain that caused a pandemic and killed 40 people in Indiana in 2009.

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Photo: Richard Sunderland (flickr)

H1N1 tends to affect young people who are otherwise healthy, says one Indianapolis specialist.

The strain of flu that caused a pandemic five years ago is strong again this flu season.

H1N1 has been reported in many states, including Indiana, which is rated as having a high level of overall flu activity according to the Centers For Disease Control. Though it causes the same symptoms as other flu strains, doctors are baffled as to why H1N1 affects so many more people.

“It tends to affect younger people who are otherwise healthy,” says Dr. Christopher Belcher, an infectious disease specialist at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. ”So, it often comes unexpected and can lead to some very serious complications.”

But H1N1 isn’t the only flu strain going around.

“We still see some H3N2 and some Influenza B, but we have plenty of flu vaccine available which contain all of those strains,” said Belcher. “The best thing you can do is get your flu vaccine.”

Three flu deaths have been reported in Indiana so far, but the State Health Department hasn’t said which strains of flu caused the deaths.

Belcher says all flu strains are part of this year’s flu shot, including H1N1.

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