Siouxland sees spike in influenza - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Siouxland sees spike in influenza


The winter months are when you're most likely to catch the flu. 

Area doctors say this year has seen more cases of the flu than last year. 

"Usually every year there's a certain two week period where there's a peak and it appears that we're seeing that right now" says Dr. David Ensz, Family Medicine Physician at South Sioux City Mercy Medical Center in South Sioux City. 

Both children and adults are seeing a rise in influenza right now. 

"It's kind of the nature of the season. It's cold outside. Adults, kids in school are in close proximity to each other. You know, there's those chances where the flu virus can be passed more during the day" says Dr. Ensz. 

The flu shot is still available for those that have not yet gotten it. 

Doctors say you should still get the shot. 

"It is important that if you have not had your flu vaccine that you go ahead. It is not too late to get your flu vaccine. This will help you minimize your symptoms if you do get the flu and helps protect those who have not had the flu vaccine or are immune compromised in any way that they didn't maybe build up as many antibodies to flu as a normal person would" says Kathy Collins, Performance Improvement Director with UnityPoint - St. Luke's. 

In past years the flu vaccine has been available in a mist form. 

This year it was not. 

Collins says there's a reason for that. 

"The CDC did not recommend the flu mist this year as they did not feel it was as effective as the injectable was, so that was why it was not available this year." 

Doctors say it's important to remember to wash your hands regularly and cover your coughs and sneezes. 

State health officials reported 25 deaths across the state due to the flu.  Two of them from northwest Iowa.

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