Ind.'s flu deaths rise to 40, most victims over 65

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm •  Published: January 23, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Flu deaths in Indiana have climbed to 40 this season and it's too soon to tell if the spread of the illness is slowing statewide, state health officials said Wednesday.

Marion County health officials said visits to the emergency room increased 28 percent Jan. 13 to Jan. 19 from the previous week, but the growth between weeks has slowed. For the two weeks before, emergency room visits for flu-like illnesses grew 69 percent.

Despite the seeming slowdown in the state's largest population center, the flu is still spreading "and we simply don't know if it has peaked yet," said State Health Commissioner William C. VanNess II.

The death toll has now reached 40, up from 27 last week. Of those, 33 were people over age 65 and 38 had underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma and renal disease.

This flu season is "a bad one for the elderly," Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said last week.

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