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Indiana reports first flu-related death before start of the season

State health officials said the best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get the influenza vaccine.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana health officials reported the state's first flu-related death of the 2021-2022 flu season on Friday.

In the 2020-21 flu season, seven Hoosiers died after contracting influenza. The year before, that number was 137.

"Although influenza deaths last year were some of the lowest we have seen, that is largely due to the COVID-19 mitigation measures most Hoosiers were following, such as staying home and wearing masks," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box. "The flu remains a very real threat to Hoosiers, and we encourage everyone who is eligible to get a flu shot to help protect themselves and our hospital systems, which are still strained by the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic."

The state did not share any details about the patient, like how old they were or where they lived, citing privacy laws.

Influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory tract.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body. The typical flu season run from October through May.

These are the common signs and symptoms of the flu:

  • Fever of 100° Fahrenheit or greater
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Influenza vaccines are available Tuesday through Saturday at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic held across from Gate 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through Oct. 30. 

Click here to find additional locations by ZIP code.

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