Influenza is a contagious disease that can be serious. Every year, influenza causes illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. Linn County Public Health urges everyone to take steps now to protect yourself and those around you from influenza, or flu.
The first and most important step to protect yourself and others against flu is to get a flu vaccine every year. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. This year, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever, as flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will likely both be spreading. Seasonal influenza viruses have begun spreading in Iowa, with sporadic activity.
Flu vaccine is currently available at many local clinics and pharmacies. If you need help finding a flu vaccine, visit vaccinefinder.org.
In addition to getting a flu vaccine, there are other important steps to take to prevent flu and other viruses from spreading. To prevent the spread of influenza and the virus that causes COVID-19:
- Maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
- Wear a mask when in public settings.
- Contain germs by staying home when sick and avoid close contact with sick people.
- Clean hands by washing often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
For more information about the 2020-2021 flu season, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.