Flu Season Has Arrived - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Flu Season Has Arrived

Posted: Updated:

 By: Claire Powell
cpowell@myabc5.com
@clairenpowell

 

The flu season has arrived in Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has confirmed three cases of influenza in Iowa and say the virus can spread quickly.

"We know that it's out there, it's in our community and we know that it's probably a lot more than three cases," said Doctor Patricia Quinlisk, Medical Director at Iowa Department of Public Health.

The 2012 flu season started earlier and was more severe than previous years. There were around 1,000 hospitalizations and over 50% of those were people over the age of 64.

The flu season usually arrives in fall but generally doesn't peak until late December or early January.

Doctors say flu vaccines are the easiest way to fight the virus. There are many options for people this year including the shot, nasal spray, and a shot with a smaller needle injected into the skin. There is also a stronger vaccine for elderly people and a specialized vaccine for people with egg allergies.

"There are ones for people who are older with more potency, and there is even one for people who are allergic to eggs. So in past years, people who are allergic to eggs couldn't get this vaccine, now they can," said Dr. Quinlisk.

Doctors say whatever you do, don't put off getting the vaccination.

"Go get it now because we could start seeing a lot more activity from the flu, very soon," said Dr. Quinlisk.

People who are at the highest risk for getting the flu are elderly people with health conditions, pregnant women and infants under the age of 6 months.  

 

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