Influenza activity is sporadic and low in Iowa, and now is the time it’s recommended to get an annual flu vaccination. In the last week Iowa has had a single influenza-related hospitalization. Washington County Public Health nurse Lynn Fisher recommends getting your annual vaccine, “Prevention is really, really key for influenza, getting the vaccine, getting vaccinated. Also, if you think you’re sick, staying home, trying to contain those germs in your own household. Covering your cough and your sneeze. And washing your hands frequently. And also try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth during this season, it’s an unconscious habit for many people.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that flu shots be received by the end of October. It takes the immunization two weeks to build up in your system. In Iowa, influenza activity usually peaks toward the end of January and into February.

Last year, there were 90 influenza-associated deaths, including one child. This week the Iowa Department of Public Health says surveillance sites are reporting non-influenza respiratory illnesses with 185 cases of rhinovirus/enterovirus, 18 adenovirus, and 13 parainfluenza virus type one.