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Health experts say vaccine prevents influenza strains found in Iowa

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Iowa health officials said the flu vaccine covers the strains of flu that have been found in the state.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network has identified three strains of influenza in Iowa including H1N1, influenza B, and H3N2 – which is the regular seasonal flu strain. The available flu vaccine reportedly covers all three strains.

“Simply put, the flu vaccine saves lives,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk.

Quinlisk said an average of 300,000 Iowans are estimated to get the flu every year. She said that the “flu and its complication of pneumonia are among the top 10 causes of death in Iowa.”

IDPH along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that anyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine.  People who have regular contact with babies, children with asthma, and the elderly are advised to consider getting vaccinated because those groups of people are more susceptible to complications of the flu.

A spokesperson from IDPH described the flu as “a serious respiratory illness caused by viruses” that usually lasts between two and seven days. Symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches.  The illness can cause severe illness or even death in the very young, very old, or people who have underlying health conditions.

“The most effective way to prevent influenza illness and death is the yearly flu vaccine,” said Quinlisk.

For more on the different strains of influenza — click here.

For information on flu season, caring for loved ones, or how to prevent flu during pregnancy – click here.