H1N1 Flu Strain Going Around NE Indiana

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

January 15, 2014 Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 7:17 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – The H1N1 flu strain is making a comeback as health officials say the virus is now widespread across 35 states, including Indiana.

Waiting rooms are becoming increasingly full, and health officials say the infamous H1N1 virus is to blame.

John Silcox, Communications Director with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health says the H1N1 outbreak is not as severe now as it was in 2009 when a record number of hospitalizations and deaths occurred.

Silcox says people being cooped up in their homes last week could've contributed to the influx in flu cases in the area. He says flu season can vary throughout the year, but symptoms seem to peak in Allen County around late Jan. and early Feb.

Symptoms of the flu include a fever, headache, coughing, sneezing, and general fatigue and body aches.

Silcox says if you’re feeling any of those symptoms you should go to the doctor within the next 48 hours, but if you're healthy he recommends you take some preventative measures.

“The number one preventative measure being, get your flu vaccine if you haven't already,” he said. ‘The other things to do would be to try to take some precautions in terms of washing your hands frequently, covering your cough or sneeze, and then staying home if you do have symptoms."

It’s not too late to get a flu shot, and Silcox recommends that people get one every year. He says flu strains change every year, and health officials create the flu vaccine based on the strains.

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