The flu is a contagious illness caused by influenza viruses. Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection that affects mainly the nose, throat, chest and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.  People usually become ill with the flu in fall and winter.  Influenza does not affect people all over the world at the same time.  People in some countries may be ill when people in other countries are not.

The CDC recommends persons who are at risk for complications from influenza be vaccinated annually.  However, it is wise for everyone to receive an influenza vaccination every year.

A common question:  Is it too late to get vaccinated after Thanksgiving (or the end of November)?

No. Vaccination can still be beneficial as long as influenza viruses are circulating. CDC recommends that providers begin to offer influenza vaccination as soon as vaccine becomes available in the fall, but if you have not been vaccinated by Thanksgiving (or the end of November), it can still be protective to get vaccinated in December or later. Influenza is unpredictable and seasons can vary. Seasonal influenza disease usually peaks in January or February most years, but disease can occur as late as May.  If you would like a flu shot, please contact your health care provider, or call our office (319-332-0860) for more information on where to receive the vaccine.

 For more information on how to protect yourself from influenza, please look at the links listed below.  (Links will work best with Internet Explorer)

Iowa Influenza Surveillance Program Links

CDC - Seasonal Influenza    <- for easy to understand facts about the seasonal flu.