It's Not Too Late for that Flu Shot!

Posted 11/14/2013 in Public Health

Three strains of flu have been identified in Iowa

Three strains of flu are circulating in Iowa.  While influenza activity is low, having three strains means that without a flu vaccination, people could become ill with the flu three different times.  The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for all people 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.

Flu vaccination usually drops off quickly after the end of November because many people believe getting vaccinated after that time is too late.  “That’s simply not true,” said Delma Hardin, RN, BSN, Delaware County Public Health Manager.  “As long as flu viruses are circulating, people can get sick.  We know flu activity generally peaks in January or February and lasts into the spring, so it is definitely not too late to get a flu shot.”  It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body’s immune response to provide full protection.  “With flu activity increasing and family and friends gathering for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones,” said Hardin.

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 quickly.  Symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches.  Illness usually lasts two to seven days.  The flu may cause severe illness or complications in the very young or very old, or those who have underlying health problems.

More facts about influenza can be found at http://www.idph.state.ia.us/Cade/Influenza.aspx.  To schedule your flu shot, call Delaware County Public Health at 563-927-7551 or Regional Family Health at 563-927-7777.