Flu now widespread in Iowa: How you can prevent it - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flu now widespread in Iowa: How you can prevent it

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Shots are not fun for anyone, but Dr. Daniel Wright at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo says they're imperative.

"The number one thing is to get your flu shot, which is very important every year," Wright said.

But preventing the flu can be simpler than getting pricked.

"Hand washing is one of the easiest ways to do that, washing hands frequently," Wright said. "Make sure you wash them long enough, and the alcohol sanitizers will kill the virus well. Avoiding being around others that are ill, too."

But if you have to be around others that are sick, like family members, wearing a face mask is a good option.

He also says practicing healthy habits, like eating healthy and getting rest help prevent the flu.

Although some steps are more painful than others, Dr. Wright says all of them are better than getting the flu.

Four area hospitals are limiting guests to prevent the flu from spreading.

Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque and Dyersville, as well as UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital, are asking children and people with symptoms to not visit hospital patients right now.

St. Luke's in Cedar Rapids is asking children to stay away from the NICU.

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