Indiana reports 15 flu-related deaths

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The Indiana State Department of health confirms 15 flu-related deaths in the state.

State health officials are urging Hoosiers to get a flu shot, wash their hands frequently and stay away from others if they're sick.

The nationwide flu outbreak is arriving about five weeks earlier than the flu's usual peak time.  Forty-one states including Indiana are seeing intense flu outbreaks right now.

The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. For information about flu symptoms, see Flu Symptoms & Severity.

In Neilsville, Wisconsin, over 180 students missed school due to illness. In Boston, the mayor declared a state of emergency prompted by 700 flu cases reported since Oct. 1 and 18 deaths across the state. (That compares to 70 flu cases in the city at the same time last year.) Some Boston hospitals are restricting visitors and requiring hospital staff to wear masks.