FLU REPORT: Widespread Viral Influenza

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This season the flu is gaining steam earlier than normal. The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the majority of the nation is seeing widespread reports of the nasty bug.

Each week the CDC puts out a flu report. Friday’s data shows that 41 states have widespread flu activity – including Iowa. That total is up ten states from the prior week.

Officials say the bug that is striking hardest this year causes severe illness, but experts say the vaccine is right on target to prevent the flu strains going around.

Officials say this is one of the worst flu seasons on record.  

“Influenza is the viral infection every winter that can put even a healthy person into the intensive care unit in 48 hours,” says Dr. William Schaffner with Vanderbilt University.

Health departments across the state are offering the vaccine.

In Polk County, you can get the shot on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The shot is $20 for those without insurance, but the Polk County Health Department says no one will be turned away because of inability to pay.