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Shots/vaccines

Vaccines

While the incidence of influenza is widespread in Iowa and Illinois, there is also a high rate of activity for several other viruses that make people sick.

These "non-influenza respiratory viruses," as they are called by public health officials, were high for the week ending Jan. 6, according to the Iowa Influenza Report.

The report shows 402 positive tests for nine common viruses at sentinel sites — communities where in-depth data is gathered — tallied at the State Hygienic Laboratory in Iowa City.

The most common illnesses were from coronavirus and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, but also reported were adenovirus (27 cases), parainfluenza virus type 1-4 (23 cases), rhinovirus/entrovirus (72) and human metapneumovirus (35).

The emergency department at Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport, is busy with flu-related illnesses, said Adam Haut, department manager.

Genesis providers have seen both children and adults, but in adults, especially, they have to be hospitalized if they have underlying conditions like asthma or COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Haut said.

Word is the flu shot is not terribly effective this year, he said, so some of the patients have been vaccinated, and still got sick.

Recommended is the "Three C's," Haut said: control the cough, contain the germs by sneezing into an elbow, for example, and stay home when contaminated.

The Iowa report shows five schools with more than 10 percent absences recorded in the state but none of those were in eastern Iowa, which includes the Quad-City region. The time frame, ending Jan. 6, did reflect three days of vacation in the school systems.

Outpatient health care providers, at sentinel sites in Iowa, reported that 2.66 percent of patients who are seen have influenza-like illnesses.

Hospitals report 169 hospitalizations due to influenza-associated illnesses, high for the season being recorded. The current Iowa Influenza Report started tracking the flu in mid-October, 2017.

In the eastern Iowa region, which includes Scott County, 1,159 people were tested for influenza, and 22 percent of them were found to have the illness. Most had the Influenza A strain, but some also showed up with the Influenza B virus.

That also was the high for the season.

The state health department reported last week that 2018, eight people have died from influenza, most of them older than 61 years old, and with underlying health issues. A total of 14 people have died from the flu since October.

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