Lebanon Reporter

Local News

January 4, 2014

Local health officials urge vaccinations after flu death

A South Bend woman’s death last month from the H1N1 flu virus is a reminder that influenza season is entering its peak, health officials warn.

Anne Phillips-Dwan, 25, had been hospitalized in South Bend before being transferred to a Chicago hospital, where she died last month, said WSBT-TV. She is believed to be the first Hoosier to succumb to that particular flu strain.“We’re saddened about the death,” said Cindy Murphy, RN, administrator of the Boone County Health Department.

Murphy said the health department has given several people flu shots this week, and more vaccine is available.“We’re aware that the predominate strain is H1N1,” she said.

Health officials are particularly concerned about H1N1 because it is similar to the 2009 “swine flu” pandemic that disproportionately affected young adults and children.

Dr. Michael Young, a medical officer with the CDC, told HealthDay.com reporter Steven Reinberg, “It’s the same H1N1 we have been seeing the past couple of years and that we really started to see in 2009 during the pandemic.”Through Dec. 28, flu was widespread in Indiana and 24 other states, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its weekly FluView report. Flu activity tracked by Google Trends showed a high level of influenza in Indiana as of Jan. 2.

Nationwide, the CDC reported six pediatric deaths from influenza-like illnesses with half of them in region six Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas while one occurred in region five, which includes Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Flu symptoms usually begin one to four days after a person is exposed; the disease lasts up to a week.

Murphy said flu shots are available on a walk-in basis from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the health department, in the rear basement of the Boone County Annex, 116 W. Washington St., Lebanon. Shots are $25; high-dose vaccine, for people 65 and older, are $35. Pneumonia shots are $70. The department accepts Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross, Cigna, Humana, Medicaid, Medicare part B, Sagamore, SIHO, Today’s Option and United Health Care insurance payments.

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