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First Iowa Flu Death of the Season

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  An elderly Iowan has died from the flu.

The Iowa Department of Public Health identifies the victim only as an 81-year old woman from Central Iowa.  They say she did have an underlying health condition in addition to the flu.

Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, Medical Director of the IDPH, says flu activity has been slow so far this year but the illness should never be taken lightly.  “This death is an unfortunate reminder the flu virus does have the potential to cause severe illness and death,” she said in a press release, “especially in the very young, very old, or those who have underlying health conditions.”

IDPH says the best protection against the flu is to get a flu shot.  The flu mist will not be available this year due to questions about its effectiveness.  The upcoming holiday season could cause a spike in flu transmission as college students return home and younger students start their winter breaks.

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