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home : news : news Tuesday, November 24, 2015

1/23/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Flu remains active, widespread in Iowa, vaccine still available

By Mary Rueter
Managing editor

Influenza activity in Iowa is high and remains widespread.

Healthcare professionals still are recommending vaccination against the flu for those who have not already received a flu shot or in the case of children, doses of flu mist. This year's flu shot is effective against several different strains of the flu virus.

For the current reporting week, the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) confirmed a total of 120 cases of seasonal influenza, including 91 influenza A (H3), 21 influenza A (subtyping pending) and eight influenza B. Outpatient visits due to influenza-like illness decreased from the previous week but remain well above the regional baseline of 2.1 percent.

The number of influenza-associated hospitalizations reported from sentinel hospitals also decreased slightly to 133; but is still three times higher than a typical influenza season. A total of 613 hospitalizations have been reported this season.

Two influenza outbreaks were reported from long-term care facilities. The number of schools that reported 10 percent or greater absenteeism due to flu-like symptoms increased from the previous report; five schools during this reporting period and 16 schools have reported thus far this week but will fall into the next reporting period.

In addition, 38 cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and one case of para influenza 2 were detected during this reporting week. Thus far this season, several other respiratory viruses also have been identified.

Vaccine still available

Michelle Cullen of the Genesis Visiting Nursing Association reports the agency has about 20 doses of adult vaccine and plenty of children's vaccine available. These wanting to receive the vaccine are asked to call 242-7165 to schedule an appointment.

DeWitt Family Health Clinic also reports having sufficient supplies of both vaccines on hand but recommends calling 659-9294 for an appointment.

Scott Thrifty White Drug in DeWitt has vaccine available only for those 18 and older. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments (call 659-5042) are suggested in order to reserve doses in the event the supply is exhausted.

Genesis Health Group, DeWitt, reports having a full waiting list and no longer is taking appointments for vaccinations.

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