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Flu season hits Hoosier state hard

ELKHART, Ind. -- It's that time of year: the time of the sniffles, the stomach bugs, and of course, the flu.

The flu has been particularly bad, especially in Indiana, with at least nine related deaths this season.

"When someone comes in and says, 'I feel like I got hit by a truck,' that's my number one clue that they might have the flu," says Dr. Vik Mehta.

Dr. Mehta says he's been hearing those words, quite a bit lately, while working at the Elkhart Clinic.

"The flu has been bad this year. We're seeing a lot of pretty sick people," he adds.

The flu season has hit the country, pretty badly this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

And in Indiana, already nine deaths in just a couple of weeks.

Dr Mehta says there's no one reason why this season seems worse.

"We get a lot of people who don't want to get the flu shot," he explains. "And with the weather so cold, out here in the Midwest, people are always inside. And when you're inside, you're around other people, and that's when you're going to get sick."

But even people who got the flu shot this year, still need to be careful.

"This year's flu shot did not cover the H3N2 strain of the flu, which is the bad one that's getting a lot of people very sick," explains Dr. Mehta.

But it's not just little kids, or the elderly who are at risk: it's everyone. 

"I'm seeing a lot of younger people with the flu and I've had to admit people [to the hospital] because of the flu," he adds. "Anyone can get the flu and get pneumonia on top of it, and it can just be devastating."

Dr. Mehta says this is not something anyone should be scared of, but he wants everyone to take precautions, like getting the flu shot.

If you have high fevers, body aches, or a really bad cough, Dr. Mehta says it's better to go to the doctor sooner rather than later.


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