An Early Flu Season Could Mean More Cases

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Flu Season - It's something we deal with every year. However, THIS year it's getting more attention than usual.

Normally in the Midwest, Flu Season peaks in February. This year, it's beginning earlier... the earliest it has ever started in nearly a decade.

The Quad City Area is in an interesting situation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which tracks flu cases across the nation, shows Iowa as one of seven states already reporting "regional flu outbreaks."

Doctors say that means it's more important than ever for everyone to get the flu shot... and anyone can from six months old and older. It's especially important around the holidays because people are spending more time with families and friends and traveling.

Doctors also want to separate facts from the many myths that keep people from getting vaccinated.

"The flu vaccine does not give you the flu," says Roma Taylor, Clinical Services Coordinator with the Scott County Health Department. "It's an inactivated virus. You're not going to get the flu from getting the vaccine. Other times people have already been exposed around the time they get the flu shot, then they come down with flu symptoms and they think they got it from the vaccine. That's not true."

Taylor says physicians and patients are need to remember there is a pertussis outbreak going on in the area, so what some think might be the flu could actually be whopping cough, which can be very contagious.