WATERLOO (KWWL) - This influenza season is shaping up to be one of the mildest in several years, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Two factors significantly influence the severity of influenza seasons - weather and vaccine match. The influenza virus spreads from person to person and survives well in cold, low-humidity conditions.
Although Iowa has had plenty of snow and cold this year, the weather has not been as cold for as long as previous winters. In addition, the influenza vaccine for 2008-2009 matches both the A(H1) and A(H3) strains circulating widely in the U.S. and in Iowa. To date, there has been an 86 percent reduction in hospitalizations. The outpatient clinic percentage of influenza-like illness of all patient visits has not yet exceeded the threshold of 2.1 percent at the sentinel surveillance sites.
For continuing information on influenza activity in Iowa, go to the Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network Web page at www.idph.state.ia.us/adper/iisn.asp.
Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt