State health officials say Indiana's flu deaths have risen to 70 following two additional flu-related deaths reported this week.
The state Department of Health says the deaths and continuing illnesses demonstrate that Indiana's flu season is still under way. Flu season generally runs from October through May.
State Health Commissioner William VanNess says "there's still a very real risk of becoming ill with influenza." He says the best defense against getting the flu at this point is diligent hand-washing to prevent the illness' spread. VanNess says severe flu seasons like this year's demonstrate the importance of getting vaccinated as early in the season as possible.
Sixty-four of Indiana's 70 flu deaths occurred in individuals with underlying serious medical conditions such as cancer and heart diseases.