OSKALOOSA – An influenza-related death in a healthy Iowa child has been reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health. IDPH has also been notified of several probable adult deaths related to influenza. Mahaska Health Partnership still has flu vaccines available for anyone who has not received one.
The flu comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days. Influenza may cause severe illness or even death.
According to the IDPH, it is especially important for children to be vaccinated this year, as this year’s most common influenza strain (H1N1), is hitting children particularly hard.
All Iowans over 6 months of age should receive a flu vaccine every year. While vaccination is the best defense against influenza, personal actions also help prevent the spread of illness. Remember the 3Cs: cover your coughs and sneezes, clean your hands frequently and contain germs by staying home when ill.
MHP Public Health as well as primary care providers can give the flu vaccine. Public Health has walk-in flu clinics are held each Monday from 8 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. through the end of March. Appointments are available calling 673-3257. Cost is $20.