Flu Activity Remains Significantly High in Marion County

For Immediate Release

February 9, 2018                                        

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Flu activity is widespread across the county and remains at a significantly high level in Marion County. Everyone is strongly encouraged to take precautions that can prevent the spread of flu in the community.

During the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 3, the percentage of visits to emergency departments in Marion County for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 4.5 percent. This is the highest ILI percentage since the 2014-2015 flu season.

As of Feb. 9, Marion County reports 14 influenza-related deaths this flu season.

Marion County Public Health Department director Virginia A. Caine, M.D., says it is impossible to predict if flu activity has reached its peak. Many more cases are expected to occur during what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling a “high severity season.”

Dr. Caine says that increased flu activity is expected to last several more weeks. She is asking local businesses and schools to take this flu season seriously.

“Sick employees and students need to remain home if experiencing flu-like symptoms with a fever,” says Dr. Caine. “Once a person is fever-free for 24 hours, they may return. Although this practice may be difficult, it could help decrease the spread of this virus in our community.”

Other important preventable actions regarding flu include:

  • Get a flu shot – it’s not too late.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs can spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Also, as a precaution to protect patients and staff, temporary visitor restrictions remain in place at Marion County hospitals.

Restrictions began on Jan. 8 at the request of Dr. Caine and include:

  • No visitors with symptoms of influenza.
  • No visitors under the age of 18.
  • Visitors limited to immediate family as identified by the patient.

Visitors are encouraged to check a hospital’s website or call in advance to learn more about restrictions at a specific location and any exceptions.

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Media Contact:
Curt Brantingham 
Media/Public Information Coordinator 
317-221-2316 (o) │ 317-525-7450 (c)

 

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