Despite the influenza season not officially starting until late fall, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is recommending Iowans obtain the vaccination. Already, cases of the flu have been reported across Iowa to IDPH.
The vaccination can take up to two weeks to become effective. IDPH recommends that every Iowan over 6 months of age should receive the flu vaccine. It is especially important for some people to be vaccinated against influenza because they are at higher risk of developing serious complications, like pneumonia, if they get sick with the flu. These groups include:
- Pregnant women (by getting vaccinated when pregnant, the woman not only protects herself during this vulnerable time, but she will pass on protection to her newborn who is too young to receive a vaccine)
- Children, especially those younger than 2 years of age
- Older adults, especially those aged 65 years and over
- People who have certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. Illness typically lasts two to seven days. The flu comes on suddenly and may cause severe illness or even death, even in healthy individuals. Obtaining a vaccination is the best defense against the flu. In addition, by being vaccinated, you will prevent spreading the flu to those around you. For more information about Iowa influenza tracking and monitoring, visit https://www.idph.iowa.gov/influenza.