LA PORTE | Due to the low number of positive influenza cases throughout the local area and state, Indiana University Health has lifted previous visitor restrictions.
The worst may be over for the flu season that hit earlier than expected this season. Influenza levels in Illinois are no longer "widespread," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent data.
Forty people in Indiana have died from flu-related illness this season, state health officials reported Wednesday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is not expecting a decrease any time soon with more reported cases from previous weeks coming in, but the flu vaccine is still available and may help those with current health problems avoid the virus.
Four local hospitals are limiting visitor access to patients in a move to prevent the spread of the flu, an illness that continues to sicken the nation.
The common cold and flu are caused by different viruses but can have some similar symptoms, making them tough to tell apart. In general, the flu is worse and symptoms are more intense.
The flu is being blamed for 10 deaths in Indiana so far this season, according to data released Wednesday by the Indiana State Department of Health.
Health officials on Monday said suspected flu cases have jumped in five Southern states, and the primary strain circulating tends to make people sicker than other types.
As flu season approaches, germs are spreading faster than holiday cheer. Traveling through a highly populated place, such as an airport, raises the risk of contracting the seasonal flu.
INDIANAPOLIS | State health officials reminded Hoosiers Monday that the "stomach flu" is not influenza, hoping to avoid confusion during the winter flu season.
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