IDPH medical director, Patricia Quinlisk, says the death of the two men is part of what’s been an escalation in flu cases.
Quinlisk says the two men lived in central Iowa and were between 41 and 60 years of age, but no other information has been released because of medical privacy laws. Doctor Quinlisk says fatal cases of the flu happen every year.
She says, based upon U-S Centers for Disease Control estimates, an average of 300-thousand Iowans get the flu every year and an average of one-thousand die every year from flu or related complications.
Quinlisk says there are many ways to prevent the flu.
She says keeping yourself healthy and taking some basic person hygiene steps will help combat the flu.
Iowa is one of three states right now that have the highest rates of the flu. The others are Oregon and Rhode Island, but Quinklisk doesn’t think that means much at this point in the flu season.
For more information about where and what kind of influenza is in Iowa, go to the Health Department’s webpage. Quinlisk says the flu vaccine is readily available and you can contact your health care provider or local health department to find out where the vaccine is available in your community or use the Flu Vaccine Finder at www.flu.gov. The flu season typically peaks in February and can last as late as May.