Forty people in Indiana have died from flu-related illness this season, state health officials reported Wednesday.
Of those who died, 38 had underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma or renal disease.
The deaths include 33 people older than 65 and two younger than 18.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Friday that 476 people have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with the flu this season and 50 have died. That figure is the most recent available, as the state releases updated numbers every Friday.
Indiana health officials encourage all Hoosiers to get vaccinated to help protect against the flu. A flu shot locator can be found on the Indiana State Department of Health website at www.StateHealth.in.gov or by visiting www.Flu.gov.
The CDC has reported this season’s flu vaccine as being approximately 62 percent effective. Health officials stress that while the flu vaccine does not guarantee immunity, it is still the best protection from flu.
This season’s vaccine offers protection against the three most common strains of influenza: H3N2, H1N1 and Influenza B. The H3N2 strain appears to be predominant thus far in the 2012-13 flu season.
Symptoms of influenza include high fever, headache, fatigue, cough, muscle aches and sore throat.