DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Department of Public Health says the flu is now considered to be 'widepsread' in the state.
State medical director Dr. Caitlin Pedati says the number of cases in the state has steadily increased over the past few weeks and is expected to keep growing. So far this year six Iowans have died from the disease.
Dr. Pedati says Iowa physicians are reporting more cases of Influenza-B right now. Typically Influenza-A is the strain that strikes early in the season.
No matter which strain, Dr. Pedati says the same tips hold true for protecting yourself and others: wash your hands, cover your coughs and stay home if you are sick.
"We know it is really hard for people with work and kids and taking care of families but it is so important for people to take the time and stay home when you're sick," Pedati says, "Not just to make yourself feel better but also because it makes it harder for those viruses to move through communities."
Dr. Pedati says it is not too late to get a flu shot. It is recommended for anyone ages six months or older.