IDPH reports low activity of influenza

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health are reporting low activity in the state for influenza, as of Dec. 8, the last provided report.

It adds the spread of the flu is sporadic and that the predominant strain is Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09.

The flu is caused by viruses that infect your nose, throat, and lungs. It’s easily spread from person to person when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks.

It’s also possible to get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Symptoms of the flu may include:

*Headache

*Tiredness

*Cough

*Sore throat

*Runny or stuffy nose

*Muscle or body aches

*Fever of 100 °F or higher

*Feeling feverish or having chills

*For some people, the flu may also cause vomiting (throwing up) and diarrhea (frequent, watery poop). This is more common in children than adults.

Remember, not everyone with the flu has a fever.

The most recommend precaustion against the flu is getting the annual flu shot. Additionally, it’s recommended to:

*Stay away from people who are sick with the flu.

*Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitizer).

*Try not to touch your nose, mouth, or eyes.

*Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze – whether or not you have the flu.

*If you have the flu, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

*Remember, people with the flu can spread it to others even if they don’t feel sick. Usually, adults with the flu can spread the virus starting the day before they first feel sick – and up to 5 to 7 days after they first felt sick.

Children may be able to spread the virus for even longer than 7 days.

IDPH officials also report the rhinovirus and enterovirus are also making the rounds currently in Iowa.

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