State health officials are making another appeal for Iowans to get their flu shots — or else. Flu outbreaks are already appearing in pockets across Iowa while other states report massive flu epidemics and several flu-related deaths. Iowa epidemiologist Patty Quinlisk says the flu bug is crawling across the Hawkeye State — quickly. Dr. Quinlisk says this year’s batch of vaccines -are- effective, contrary to some reports claiming a nasty strain of so-called Fujian flu was not included in the current cocktail. She says a cousin of that strain -is- part of the shots. Quinlisk says they’re close enough that the shots do offer good protection from the potential killer, though you might get a runny nose and miss one day of work instead of having the full-blown flu and being sick for a week. Reports say flu shots are normally effective 80-percent of the time but with this year’s batch, they’re more like 60-to-70-percent effective. Quinlisk denies that, saying it’s tough to put a percentage on these cases.Quinlisk says Iowa parents should consider having their kids wash their hands immediately when they come home from school.For other flu-whipping tips, consult the Iowa Department of Public Health website at: “idph.state.ia.us”.
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