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Indiana flu deaths rise to 15

Friday, January 11, 2013 - 12:13 pm

The number of influenza-related deaths in Indiana has risen to 15, including two in Allen County.

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department is reminding people to not only get vaccinated against the flu but to also take preventative measures. People still need to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, as well as strengthen their immune system by eating a healthy diet and getting eight hours of sleep a night to stay healthy.

Flu symptoms, such as fever, chills, body aches and dry cough, usually begin one to four days after a person has been exposed to the flu virus, but a person can be contagious even before having symptoms. People who are experiencing symptoms such as cough, runny nose or fever are asked to stay home from work, school or public places. Flu is particularly dangerous for the very young and old.

Remember to wash your hands often with soap and warm water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Use alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water is not available. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, rather than your hands, if a tissue is not available. Stay home from work or school and limit contact with others if you are ill. Try to avoid other people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way. For more information on flu prevention, go to http://www.fighttheflu.org.