Iowa has it’s first confirmed case of the flu. A seven-month old baby was treated and released from a central Iowa hospital earlier this week. Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, state epidemiologist with the Iowa Department of Public Health, says young children could be hit hard by this year’s flu bug.
Quinlisk says it’s still early in the season, but it appears children in other states are suffering from influenza more than health officials expected. The flu bug was also hard on kids last year. There were no deaths among children in Iowa, but Minnesota reported 10 kids died as a result of influenza .
"It might be that it’s basically the same strain (of influenza) coming back again," Dr. Quinlisk says, "that may explain why children are again being hit hard this year." Typically, Iowa does not receive it’s first positive case of influenza until after Thanksgiving, when the virus is spread at family gatherings.
Quinlisk says, "That’s why it’s just so important for people to go in right now and get their flu shot, so as we go into the flu season, they will be protected." The flu vaccine is available for children as young as 6 months old.