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Fraser Health is reminding you to get your flu shot by either going to see your doctor, a walk-in clinic or the pharmacy.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said Friday Influenza levels continue to build in Iowa and confirmed an additional eight flu-related deaths. To protect the family's privacy, the Department can only confirm that the death occurred downstate.

The most vulnerable are people 65 years and older, children, people with chronic illnesses like diabetes and pregnant women, but the CDC says they are seeing an increase in the data of baby boomers over the age of 55.

Individuals who are at high risk for developing the flu are also strongly encouraged not to enter the hospital except to receive medical care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends anyone over 6 months of age receive a flu vaccination. "Even if the vaccine does not prevent you from getting the flu, it will make it less likely for you to become seriously ill or require hospitalization". The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses.

"Nationally, the flu season may be peaking now", said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, the director of the CDC, during the media briefing.

"Even though it's not flawless, it's still the best protection we have", said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at University Health Network in Toronto.

Flu vaccines have been less effective in fighting H3N2 than other influenza flu viruses, making this particular strain more hard to contain.

The release says the predominant strain of flu in the state is Influenza A (H3N2).

"Once you start knowing that you're having the high fevers, and fatigue, and body aches along with the sore throat and cough, it's always a good idea to contact your doctor sooner because there are some medications that can be given", he said.

"Influenza vaccine is still available and people can still get immunized". It takes two weeks for immunity to develop. Use a tissue or cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or arm.

If you're sick and exhausted of the cold, there's a good chance you are actually sick. Routine cleaning and disinfection in the home and workplace are also important to reduce flu risks.


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