TERRE HAUTE —
With weather issues commanding people’s attention, the flu has slipped in without much notice. It’s time for Hoosiers to tune in to the threat.
According to the Associated Press, state health officials say the number of influenza deaths this season has jumped to 11, up from three reported a week ago. Officials says six deaths have happened in northern Indiana’s St. Joseph County and that no other county had recorded more than one death.
Reports indicate this season’s flu strains are hitting young and middle-aged adults fairly hard. All but one of Indiana’s 11 flu deaths have been people between the ages of 25 and 64.
For comparison’s sake, the state had 27 flu deaths at the same time last year. So there’s no reason to believe this year is beyond the norm. Still, officials urge residents to get flu vaccinations since the season can last until April.
Remember, influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. When contracted, the illness can be mild to severe, sometimes causing hospitalization or death. Older people, young children and people with certain health conditions are at greater risk for serious complications.
In addition to getting vaccinated, there is another important way to help prevent the flu. If you have a combination of symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, etc., then stay home. The people who would have been around you will thank you.
• To Tina Ficklin, a teacher at Hymera Elementary in Sullivan County. She was honored this week with a Peabody Energy Leader in Education award for her commitment to students.
• To Robert L. Wilkins, the new U.S. Court of Appeals justice for the District of Columbia. He’s a Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology alumnus and Muncie native. This court is viewed as second in clout to the U.S. Supreme Court because its jurisdiction includes the nation’s capital.
• To Terre Haute’s Ruby Carter, who turned 104 this week. This delightful woman is an inspiration to us all. Happy birthday, Ruby, and many more.
Reader poll results
Recently, the Reader Poll at Tribstar.com asked:
How would you rate the performance of city and county highway crews in dealing with the recent snowfall?
Results: 221 votes were cast.
• Excellent — 29 votes, 13.12 percent
• Good — 50 votes, 22.62 percent
• Fair — 66 votes, 29.86 percent
• Poor — 76 votes, 34.39 percent