Indiana Flu Report January 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — After Indiana experienced a brutal start to flu season, cases have been falling.

On Friday, the Indiana Department of Health released its weekly flu report, showing cases and deaths for the week ended Jan. 7. The report shows a decrease in the percentage of patients with influenza-like illness in hospitals. However, more people have died.

Officials say 132 people have died from the flu so far this season. That is 38 more deaths than reported in the previous week.

Of the deaths this season, the majority occurred in people aged 65 or older. So far there have been 2 pediatric flu deaths in Indiana. Statewide, there were 79 pediatric deaths.

Nationwide, 12,409 people were hospitalized with influenza in the last week. This is the fourth straight week that hospitals have seen a drop in influenza hospitalizations.

As hospitalizations decline, the CDC reports that the cumulative hospitalization rate was 1.8 times higher than the highest cumulative hospitalization rate during the 2010-2011 season. However, it was still lower than season-ending hospitalization rates for all but four pandemic seasons prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo//CDC

The CDC estimates that there have been at least 24 million illnesses, 260,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths from the flu so far this season.

According to the CDC, the highest rate of hospitalizations is in adults aged 65 and older, followed by children aged 0 to 4 years.

According to the CDC, the majority of the influenza viruses tested are similar to those found in this season’s vaccine. That is why they encourage everyone older than 6 months to get vaccinated.

The CDC says the best way to prevent disease is to avoid exposure to this virus. As a reminder, however, CDC always recommends everyday preventive measures to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease, including:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a regular household cleaning spray or cloth.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet; before the meal; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

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