Officials say bad flu season could get worse - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Officials say bad flu season could get worse

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A health alert Wednesday night for what officials are calling a bad flu season that could get worse.      

The number of flu deaths this season in Indiana has climbed to 10, up three more from last week. In Illinois, there have been five flu deaths and one so far in Kentucky.

We've heard it a thousand times, but you're going to hear it again. Health officials say wash your hands and wash them often. That can help protect you from a vary severe strain of the virus that's going around this season.

Flu season is off to a strong and nasty start and that has Deanna Tate reconsidering a flu shot for herself and her son.

"We're working on that. Going to make an appointment to get it," Tate said.  

She says she's heard far too many stories of people getting and suffering from the flu already this year.

"I have heard quite a few stories about a lady saying that her children have been very sick," Tate said.

The type of flu going around this season is getting some people sicker than usual. That's because one of the strains of the virus, called H3N2, is more severe than the common ones. It sends more people to the hospital and causes more deaths.

"There's been an uptick in flu-like illness lately, especially the last few days," said Chris Allen, with the Vanderburgh County Health Department.  

Allen with the Vanderburgh County Health Department says with flu activity picking up his best advice is to get the flu shot.

"Flu season lasts well up into late Mach and early April, so there's still time to protect yourself and your family," Allen said.

The good news, Allen says, is this year's shot does protect against the three strains being passes around, including H3N2.

"We're lucky enough this year that it's a good match," Allem told 14 News.

Tri-State school systems, including the EVSC, are also hoping to keep the flu at bay.

"Most of our classrooms in the elementary buildings have those alcohol dispensers that have alcohol-based sanitizer," said Diana Butler, the Director of Health Services.  

Like Allen said, there is still time to get a flu shot. Just keep in mind it takes about two-weeks for the shot to take effect.  

The vaccine is available at most doctor's offices and pharmacies. The Vanderburgh County Health Department also offers clinics for some.

You can still get your child the vaccines at the health department by appointment Monday through Friday. Call 812-435-5997 to get that appointment set up.

You can also walk-in on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. or Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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