Dept. of Public Health: 3 strains of flu currently in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dept. of Public Health: 3 strains of flu currently in Iowa

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

The Iowa Department of Public Health say three strains of flu are currently circulating in Iowa.

Officials say the three strains -- H1N1 (2009 pandemic strain), H3N2 (regular seasonal flu strain), and Influenza B -- are all at a low activity level, but are all currently making people around the state sick.

The IDPH notes that, without a flu vaccination, you could become ill with the flu three different times.

Officials urge everyone to get the flu vaccine, which is widely available and covers all three strains of flu that have been detected.

“Simply put, the flu vaccine saves lives,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk in a written statement. “We estimate an average of 300,000 Iowans get the flu every year and, together, flu and its complication of pneumonia are among the top 10 causes of death in Iowa. The most effective way to prevent influenza illness and death is the yearly flu vaccine.”

Flu shots are recommended every year.

The IDPH said it’s especially important to be vaccinated if you have regular contact with people more vulnerable to the complications of flu, including babies, children with asthma, and the elderly. Officials also recommend pregnant women be vaccinated to protect themselves, and to pass on some immunity to their baby.

For more information about where and what kind of influenza is in Iowa, go to www.idph.state.ia.us/Cade/Influenza.aspx?pg=FluHome.

To find out where the vaccine is available in your community, use the Flu Vaccine Finder at www.flu.gov/.

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