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Flu cases increasing in Iowa and Minnesota

Both states now have "widespread" flu activity

Posted: Mar. 8, 2019 9:14 PM
Updated: Mar. 8, 2019 10:14 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - It's something that we don't want to come into contact with this season - the flu.

And while flu activity has been largely quiet this season, it has started to pick up recently.

Both the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Minnesota Department of Health are seeing a "widespread" geographic area of the flu.

"Both of my kids were sick two weeks ago, and just recently, I got sick right after them, and then my youngest got sick again."

While flu tests came up negative, Nikki Wyborney says it's been a hassle to miss work so she can take care of her kids.

"Sometimes you have to make up work, and where do you find the time to do that when you have two kids and they keep getting sick?"

Dr. Hameed Khan with Quick Care Urgent Care has seen an increase in patients coming in to be tested, around 30-50 people per day.

"We're seeing a lot of people that have been tested for influenza A, we're seeing some that are positive for influenza B, and the CDC has already stated there's another strand that's out there that's not being seen on our testing that maybe the flu vaccination has not covered."

And the delayed, powerfully cold weather has not helped matters.

"The weather is more intense earlier on the more we see the flu. But it also dependent on the virus, depending on the strain."

However, he believes that this year's vaccination is close to what's being spread.

"We got lucky on the strain of virus that's out there right now, where a lot of people got vaccinated with the flu shot that... I think we're pretty much dead on arrival what the flu was going to be like this year."

To prevent the spread of sickness, Wyborney says to just use common sense.

"Proper hand washing, and taking good care of yourself. Eating healthy and making good choices."

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