ELKHART — Fewer people are visiting Elkhart General Hospital with flu-like symptoms, according to hospital spokeswoman Shelley Rody.
Rody said 103 patients showed symptoms resembling influenza from Jan. 14 to Thursday, but only 10 of those patients tested positive for the virus. Flu warning signs typically include a body temperature higher than 100 degrees, coughing, weakness, severe aches, sore throat and chills, among others, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of the 836 people who have visited EGH with flu symptoms since Nov. 1, 138 have been diagnosed with the virus, Rody said. Flu season can begin as early as October and last well into May, peaking in January or February, according to the CDC.
The 2012-13 season has become the state’s deadliest flu outbreak in five years. There have been 40 flu-related deaths in Indiana, according to the state department of health. None of the deaths have been linked to Elkhart County. State records show that three people died of the flu last season while the 2007-08 outbreak claimed the lives of 73 people in Indiana.
Rody said the best way to avoid catching the flu is to get a vaccination and take other preventative measures to stop the spread of germs like hand-washing and covering coughs.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.