Flu season is usually seen during winter, but most states say that the influenza virus stayed overtime, many cases of flu were reported whole year round. In Indiana, they recorded their first flu-related death of this season, health officials confirmed.
The influx of flu cases usually occurs starting from January to March and the first death was reported in December. However, this case came in early and health officials are urging residents to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible.
In the 2014-2015 flu season, there were 146 flu-related deaths reported in Indiana. Thus, health officials reiterate the importance of getting the flu vaccine and they urge those who are most vulnerable to complications of the flu virus like children who are 6 months and older; adults, specially who are 65 years old and above and those who are immuno-compromised to take time to get their shots.
"You not only protect yourself you protect your family members, because if you bring it home and they are not vaccinated you could get ill," said Dr. Mark Tiritilli, from Eskenazi Health Center, Cottage Corner.
Due to privacy laws, further information regarding the person who first died of flu this season will not be released by health officials.
"Unfortunately, this is a sad reminder that influenza can be very serious and deadly, and our sympathies go out to the patient's family. Though our flu activity is minimal so far, people shouldn't get complacent about the flu," State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams said.
Flu or influenza is a respiratory infection caused by various viruses. The common symptoms include body pain, chills, cough, fever, headache or sore throat. It is highly contagious and can be passed to other people through droplets from a person who coughs or sneezes.
Usually, a person can recover from flu without any medication, but for vulnerable individuals, contracting the virus could be fatal.
The National Institutes of Health reports that around 5 percent to 20 percent of the United States population are infected with the flu virus every year.
Health officials are reminding individuals and their constituents to remember the three C's when a person contracts the disease to prevent it to spread to other people. The three C's are Clean, Cover and Contain.
If the person is infected with the virus, he should clean his hands at all times through proper hand washing, cover his or her mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and contain the virus by not going out of the house to prevent further spread.
There are flu shot clinics available throughout the country in the aim of the health department to prevent an increase in cases of flu as well as other respiratory illnesses. They do not want to experience the flu outbreak last year that infected a lot of people.