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Following 3 Indiana Flu Deaths, Local Health Officials Advise Immunization

flu-shots.jpg

Despite less activity than usual, the influenza virus has already caused three deaths in Indiana this flu season.

Influenza is common, with 5 to 20 percent of the population contracting the virus and 3,000 to 49,000 deaths a year. About 200,000 people are hospitalized each year.

READ MORE: Indiana's First Flu Death Of Season Occurs In Marion County

Penny Caudill, administrator at the Monroe County Health Department, says that these numbers are a reminder of how deadly the virus can be and how important prevention is.

“The best thing to do with influenza is prevention, and that’s get your flu shot," she says. "It’s never too late to get it.”

Caudill says the best time to get vaccinated is earlier in the season, before activity picks up. She says it takes about two weeks to reach sufficient immunity after getting the vaccination.

She says the vaccination is mutated each year to match anticipated circulation.

Besides vaccinations, Caudill says the best methods of prevention are staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow and thorough hand-washing.

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