For immediate release: Oct 06, 2009
Posted by: [Flu]
Contact: Jennifer Dunlap
Phone: 317-233-7315

State and Local Health Officials Investigating Suspected Flu-related Death

INDIANAPOLIS---State health officials today reported the Indiana State Department of Health and the St. Joseph County Health Department are currently investigating a suspected death from flu-related complications in St. Joseph County.  The State Health Department will not be releasing any other information about the individual for confidentiality reasons.

"I was saddened to hear of this death, and my heart goes out to the family," said State Health Commissioner Judy Monroe, M.D.  "This is a grim reminder influenza always has the potential to be very serious and even cause death."

On October 5, Dr. Monroe announced the first doses of Indiana's live, attenuated nasal mist form of the H1N1 flu vaccine being given out to heath care providers and emergency medical services workers in Marion County.  The live, attenuated nasal mist form of the vaccine is only recommended for healthy, non-pregnant people aged 2 to 49 years.

State health officials report a substantial supply of both the nasal and the injectable forms of the H1N1 flu vaccine is expected to be available in mid-October. 

"We wish we had enough of the H1N1 flu vaccine to vaccinate every Hoosier," said Dr. Monroe.  "However, everyone should be getting their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible.  In addition, one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of influenza is still to clean your hands frequently, cover your cough or sneeze, and contain germs by staying home if you are sick."

Dr. Monroe says the Indiana State Department of Health's Immunization Program continues to work closely with local health departments to get the H1N1 flu vaccine ordered, as doses become available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As information becomes available from the local health departments, the Indiana State Department of Health will post online where you can get the H1N1 flu vaccine at: www.in.gov/flu.  The Department will also be offering a toll-free hotline for the public to call for information on the H1N1 flu and its vaccine at: 1-877-826-0011 or TTY 1-888-561-0044.  It will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday-Friday. 

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