The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDHP) reports sporadic influenza activity in Iowa already. Since September 2012, the State Hygienic Laboratory has identified three strains of influenza in Iowa influenza A (H3N2), 2009 H1N1, and influenza B.
Iowans can protect themselves from the influenza virus by following disease prevention steps including receiving the vaccination. Grinnell Regional Public Health is currently hosting clinics in the county to give many opportunities for individuals to be vaccinated.
IDPH urges all Iowans over 6 months of age to receive their yearly seasonal influenza vaccine. Surveillance by IDPH influenza sentinel sites shows the flu appears to be particularly spreading among children.
While the flu vaccine is the best defense against getting influenza, it's also important to take personal actions to help prevent the spread of illness. Remember the 3Cs: Cover your coughs and sneezes; Clean your hands frequently; and Contain germs by staying home when ill.
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. The flu comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days. Influenza may cause severe illness or even death in people such as the very young or very old, or those who have underlying health conditions.