Indiana is experiencing a high level of influenza-like activity early in this flu season with seven deaths reported since November.
Craig Felty, Executive Director of Patient Care at IU Health Starke Hospital said the hospital’s Emergency Room had 59 positive cases in December 2012. No cases of the flu were reported in December 2011. Pulaski Memorial Hospital has seen a big increase in positive influenza cases since Dec. 1.
You are encouraged to get the flu vaccine. The 2012-2013 vaccine protects against the three most common strains of influenza. To avoid getting the flu, wash your hands frequently and do not reuse tissues. Wash your hands with soapy water and leave them under a stream of warm water for at least 20 to 30 seconds.
Pulaski County Health Nurse Andrea Keller recommends a stay at home if you are sick. Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch said his office is running low on the vaccine, but you are encouraged to call and set up an appointment for an inoculation.
The flu vaccination is recommended for anyone six months of age or older. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly.