Five flu deaths reported in Northern Indiana as totals spike

Health officials say the number of flu-related deaths in Indiana this season jumped to 79 as of last week, up from 50 the previous week.

The Indiana State Department of Health said Friday in its weekly influenza report for the period ending Dec. 13 that 58 of the deaths have occurred among people age 65 or older and 14 in the 50-64 age group. Six have occurred in the 25-49 age group and one in the 5-24 age group.

The report says six deaths have occurred in both Hamilton and Shelby counties and five in Marion County, all in central Indiana. Five deaths also have occurred in St. Joseph County. It says flu activity is widespread across the state.