DES MOINES, Iowa – The season’s first flu-related deaths have been reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The victims are identified as a central Iowa woman between 61 and 80 years old and a northwest Iowa woman over the age of 80. Health officials say both had underlying conditions or other factors that contributed to their deaths.
“The flu virus does have the potential to cause severe illness and death, especially in the very young, very old, or those who have underlying health conditions,” asys IDPH Medical Director Dr. Caitlin Pedati. “This is a great time to get the flu vaccine to prevent yourself and your loved ones from becoming sick before flu activity increases further.”
According to the latest state figures, there have been 14 flu-related hospitalizations reported in Iowa since the season began at the end of September.
38 flu-related hospitalizations have been reported in Minnesota, so far. Influenza cases in both states typically don’t start to rise until mid-December.