First Flu Death Of Season Reported

Georgia Reed
November 1, 2017

The uncertainty of when the flu will strike has local health officials encouraging everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated now.

The flu started circulating in Clark County a little earlier than usual a year ago, with activity picking up at the end of October. The flu vaccine can reduce influenza illness, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to the flu.

"Getting the flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself from the flu", she said.

State officials say Iowa's first confirmed flu-related death of the 2017-18 flu season was that of an elderly man who lived in central Iowa. Children under five and adults over 65, for example, are most at risk, as are pregnant people, smokers and people with medical conditions such as asthma, weakened immune systems and diabetes.

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So far, more than 120 million vaccines have been administered nationwide, according to the CDC.

They know, too, they're caring for people who are especially vulnerable to contracting the flu. In Dubois County, the health department has administered roughly 1,400 flu vaccines, which Oeding says is on par with recent years. Flu symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches.

Later this month, the hospital will begin efforts to immunize community members and hospital visitors - and just in time for flu season to pick up, if past years are any indication.

That's right on track for a normal flu season.

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