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Iowa Reports First Confirmed Flu Case

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today received its first confirmed positive influenza report from an Eastern Iowa health care provider. The University Hygienic Laboratory (UHL) confirmed the positive test result in a 25 year old female.

State health officials say the confirmed case of influenza serves as a reminder for Iowans to receive their yearly flu shot. "The first case of influenza is an indicator that flu is present in Iowa, but more importantly it is a reminder to get your flu shot now." said IDPH medical director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. "The flu season can last into the spring months, so it's not too late to receive your flu vaccination."

Influenza is preventable:

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* If you or your school-aged children haven't gotten the flu shot yet, do it now. The influenza vaccine is available for children as young as 6 months old. The flu vaccine is the best defense against getting influenza.

* Wash your hands frequently. If you cannot wash your hands, you may use alcohol-based hand sanitizer as long as hands are not visibly soiled.

* Stay home from work or school when you are ill with the flu, and encourage others to do the same.

* Stay away from people you know are ill. Maintain at least a three-foot distance from someone coughing and sneezing.

The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. It spreads easily from person to person and can cause mild to severe illness. 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 is often mistakenly associated with the stomach flu. People with influenza may have nausea, diarrhea or vomiting, but not without the respiratory symptoms listed above. Influenza may cause severe illness or complications in people such as the very young or very old, or those who have underlying health conditions.