First Iowa flu death of the season reported by IDPH

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"This death is an unfortunate reminder the flu virus does have the potential to cause severe illness and death, especially in the very young, very old, or those who have underlying health conditions", said Medical Director Dr. Caitlin Pedati.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw away the tissue and wash your hands. If you haven't already, please take the time to get a flu vaccine and make sure everyone in your family has received theirs, as well.

"What we have noticed in the last couple of weeks, is we've seen an increase in numbers in flu vaccines", Nola Aigner, the Public Information Officer for the Polk County Health Department.

Monto said the predominance of the H3N2 virus past year was bad because H3N2 tends to cause more severe complications and the vaccine often doesn't work as well against it.

Among flu antigen tests that can distinguish between influenza A and B virus types, 73 percent were influenza A, and 27 percent were influenza B, the ADH states in its latest Influenza Weekly Report. Based on the percentage of outpatient visits from influenza, the flu season usually peaks in late December and mid-February. At this time in the last flu season Kentucky had twelve flu-related deaths, all adults.

No new flu deaths were reported in Oklahoma last week, but 11 so far this season. Vaccinations can be given any time during the flu season.

"Last year was a record bad year", Brammer said.

A limited supply of free influenza vaccine will be available for this event on a first-come, first-served basis.

The flu is now spreading throughout the United States, health officials said Friday. These voluntary sites collect data and report influenza-like illness cases according to age groups each week.

Influenza symptoms typically emerge suddenly and may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Flu can be very contagious. People with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and asthma are more susceptible to catching the flu.

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