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13 Week 3 Flu Deaths In Indiana Increase Record Total To 40
Recombinomics Commentary 20:45
January 23, 2013

In the last week, 13 people have died from flu-related complications in Indiana. The brings the total flu deaths to 40 for the state. That's the largest number of flu deaths in the state since it started tracking those statistics in 2005. The second deadliest flu season in recent years was in 2009, when the H1N1 flu strain led to 22 deaths in the state.

Shawn Richards, a Respiratory Epidemiologist with the Indiana State Department of Health, says they expect a few more weeks of flu season in Indiana.

"This year we have had 40. Last year we had zero; the year before that we had four and the year before that we had 22. So this a high number of deaths," he said.

The above comments on the 13 confirmed flu fatalities in week 3, which when combined with the 17 deaths in week 2, raised the season total to the record setting 40, help put these numbers into perspective.  The lab confirmed cases represent a fraction of the total and there is considerable variation from state to state.  However, the numbers do help put the current season into context and allow for comparison to early numbers as described above.  The 30 cases reported in the past 2 weeks are greater than the prior seasonal record of 22, set in the 2009-10 pandemic season.

The spike in the past few weeks is similar to the 56 deaths reported by Minnesota for weeks 1 and 2 or the 71 reported by Pennsylvania for the first 3 weeks of 2013.  These recent numbers suggest that the spike in the Pneumonia and Influenza death rate of 8.3% for week 2 will be higher in week 3 and subsequent weeks this season.

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