Flu Season About to Peak - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Flu Season About to Peak

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by Phil Prazan



H1N1, the strain of the flu that targets not just the very young and elderly, but also young and middle-age adults, has returned to Iowa.

So far this season there have been 90 reported influenza-related hospitalizations.

That number is only a small slice of the picture.  The flu is not mandatory to report so that's the number hospitals volunteer to government health departments.  The actually number is much larger.  So the Polk County Health Department thinks flu activity is increasing in Iowa.

Every year this comes around and different strains pop up, this year it's 2009's H1N1.

"Most of the time symptoms of the flu will be fever, extreme fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, but the big difference between the flu and the common cold is that the symptoms are more severe and come on a lot quicker," says Sarah Boese from the Polk County Health Department.

That H1N1 strain is covered by the vaccines out this year.

Those are available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday at the Polk County Health Department from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  They're open Tuesdays until 7 p.m.  Most insurance is accepted or it costs $20.  No  one will be turned away because they cannot pay.

Medicap Pharmacies also carry the flu vaccine.  They're running low on the anti-virus medicine so they say the best defense is prevention with the flu shot.

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