The Iowa Department of Public Health says the first flu case of the year has been confirmed in a child in Polk County. D.P.H. medical director, Patricia Quinlisk, says it’s another reminder to get a vaccination if you haven’t already. Dr. Quinlisk says you could save yourself from some nasty symptoms.

Quinlisk says the strain confirmed in this case is “A-H-3” which is a strain that can cause people to get very sick. She says this strain tends to hit older people, but can hit those of any age. The flu can make you very sick and in some cases can lead to death.

Quinlisk says you will get the benefit of the vaccine pretty quickly after it’s delivered. She says it depends on your immune system and whether you’ve been vaccinated before, but a healthy person should see some immunity right away. It may take one week for you to have full immunity.

Quinlisk says there’s evidence that getting the flu vaccine every year can build up more immunity. Quinlisk say it doesn’t carry over to the point of protecting you, so you need to get a shot every year, but she says if you have been vaccinated every year for 10 years, you will have built more protection than someone who has never been vaccinated before. And if you don’t like shots, there is also a mist vaccine that goes in your nose.

Quinlisk says you can check with your doctor or local health department to find out where to get a flu shot.