DES MOINES, Iowa – Eight more flu-related deaths are now being reported in Iowa.
The Department of Public Health says five happened in central Iowa, two in southeast Iowa and one in eastern Iowa. All the victims were over 61 years old and five of them had underlying health conditions.
That makes 14 flu-related deaths reported in the state since October 1, 2017. The average age of the victims was 85 years old.
“It’s not too late yet to get a flu shot,” said IDPH Medical Director and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “Getting vaccinated now will still offer protection from serious disease, hospitalization and death for most of the flu season. We will very likely continue to see the flu for months.”
Minnesota just reported its first flu-related death of a child for this season.
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ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting the first child death this season related to the flu.
No details are being released on the fatal case but it follows the Iowa Department of Public Health announcing four new flu-related deaths on January 5, raising the death toll for the state this flu season to six.
Influenza is now classified as “widespread” in both Iowa and Minnesota.
Minnesota says 1,765 people have been hospitalized for the flu since October 2017, the highest number for this point in four years. By comparison, that’s more than the total number of hospitalizations for the entire flu season in 2015-2016 or 2013-2014. There were also 23 influenza outbreaks reported at long-term care facilities for the week ending January 6, more than have been reported for any week of the last two flu seasons.
The most recent numbers for Iowa show 78 new cases of the flu confirmed by the State Hygienic Laboratory and six new outbreaks in long-term care facilities.