IOWA INFLUENZA: Despite Increase, Flu Numbers Low

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The state of Iowa has more than 200 confirmed reports of influenza so far this season.

The Iowa Department of Health says 44 of the latest influenza reports came in last week. Officials said the amount of influenza activity is still considered minimal for the state.

More than one-third of patients at Mercy West Lakes Emergency on Saturday came in with flu-like symptoms.

“Most people have a fever. They’re complaining of body aches, some people complaining of nausea,” said Dr. Nicola Preston.

“A lot of people haven’t felt well, haven’t been drinking enough fluids, and are dehydrated. The main thing that we have to offer is just symptom control,” Preston said.

Preston said people suffering from the flu should try going to urgent care first, instead of the emergency room because it prevents the influenza from spreading around the hospital.  It’s also less expensive.

Preston said she urges anyone who has not gotten the flu shot yet to get one as soon as possible.

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