Health Department confirms 8 more flu deaths in Iowa

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This year's flu season has been dominated by a particularly nasty bug, and health officials say it has now reached nearly every corner of the country.

Jernigan and CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald attribute the high flu activity to the prevalence of the H3N2 flu, this year's most common form of flu.

While we all wait to hear the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) update on the widespread flu activity in the United States Friday morning, several states have made public announcements for their residents concerning their situation.

"There's never a mild flu season, and this season is on the more severe side".

According to the National Institutes of Health, H3N2 viruses mutate and evolve more quickly than other strains, sometimes rendering vaccines less effective. "Getting vaccinated now will still offer protection from serious disease, hospitalization and death for most of the flu season".

Chen tells FOX 12 that in order to avoid overcrowding, patients should call their doctors as soon as they get flu-like symptoms. Those in most danger of flu complications, according to the CDC, include the chronically ill, pregnant women or women who have just given birth and native Americans. As is traditional, editorials are unsigned and meant to be seen as the voice of the news organization.

"The flu virus changed, it mutated".

"Flu is everywhere in the USA right now", Jernigan said during a conference call with reporters.

This year's flu season has been markedly worse than those of the last few years.

The state agency reported that over the past week, cases of influenza rose by 37%, and new cases of influenza were reported in 61 of 62 counties. The city of Roanoake is aiming to get everyone vaccinated, by offering the shot for free at their fire station.

"People should do everything they can still to reduce the risk of infection, including getting the flu vaccine", Jernigan said.

Even though we're at the peak, we likely have 11 to 13 more weeks left in the flu season.

Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing to help prevent the spread of the flu.

It's not too late to get the flu shot, which is still available in doctors' offices and drugstores.

Wash your hands often with soap and water.

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