Northwest Iowa — Influenza activity across Iowa has been unusually high this year. It hit early and the Centers for Disease Control says it’s been severe. Health officials say this is the worst nationwide flu outbreak in four years.
Dr. John Weber at Orange City Area Health System says flu activity is higher than has been seen in past years. He says we’re just now getting into what is traditionally the “flu season”, so it’s not too late to get your flu shot if you haven’t yet.
Weber says if you have the flu, outside of unusual circumstances, there isn’t a recommended remedy, except to treat the symptoms.
Dr. Weber says the best things you can do to prevent the flu are frequent hand-washing and avoiding contact with people who you know or even suspect may have the flu.
He says they take some measures to prevent the flu in their facility.
He says providers aren’t required to receive flu shots themselves, but most of them do, as a precaution.
Iowa Department of Health spokesperson, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says all three strains of the seasonal flu have been confirmed in Iowa this season and all are covered by the vaccine.
And just a reminder — we’re talking about the real flu — severe body aches and fever, along with stuffy or runny nose, headache, sore throat, and that sort of thing. The stomach “flu” isn’t really flu at all, and is actually normally caused by something called norovirus. The flu shot does not prevent what people call “stomach flu”, but it does protect against most active forms of the influenza virus.