The state health department says the first case of flu has been confirmed in an elderly western Iowa woman. State Epidemiologist Patti Quinlisk says the first flu case is right on schedule compared to past years.
Quinlisk says early signs say it’something you don’t want to catch. She says it’s only once case, but she says it’s the “A” strain, which she says is usually worse than the “B” strain. She says that gives her an early indication “it might be not so great a flu year.” Quinlisk says you can protect yourself.
Quinlisk says you can go in and get a flu shot now, as the season hits its peak in January. She says getting a shot now should cover you for the rest of the season. Quinlisk preaches hand washing and good hygiene to prevent all types of illnesses. She says it’s a preventative measure that makes a difference. She says it makes a difference for colds and flu and the things her mother used to call “the creeping crud.”
Quinlisk says the cold weather may hasten the spread of flu. Quinlisk says the cold weather makes us stay inside more and be around people more. She says it also causes mucous membranes to dry out — which makes them more vulnerable to viruses.
Quinlisk says there is a difference between getting a common cold and the flu. She says the flu is more severe. Quinlisk says if you have symptoms just above your neck, like a runny nose, then that’s a cold. If you have symptoms below your neck, like muscle aches, then that’s the flu. Quinlisk says if you think you have the flu — you should stay home to avoid spreading the illness.