Flu season is here early – and worse than before

November 29, 2022

Flu season is here early – and worse than before

woman checking the temperature of a boy with the flu using a thermometer.

Influenza has arrived in Northwest Iowa, and specifically in Rock Valley over the past few weeks. Though this is only the beginning, the 2022 flu season may be worse than normal, according to experts across the world. Due to lockdowns over the past couple years, infections and viruses have gone haywire and lost their normal rhythms of occurrence. The southern hemisphere is seeing record cases of influenza, also known as the “flu”, compared to the last five years of data.

The flu does not discriminate. Although among the most vulnerable is the elderly, babies, and immunocompromised, anyone can become infected with the flu and develop uncomfortable symptoms and serious complications.

Locally, we are seeing a new hesitance toward the flu vaccination. The pandemic caused a different perception of vaccines in general. However, flu vaccines have been around for a very long time, with the first development being nearly 77 years ago! Prior to the pandemic, many people have been vaccinated for the annual variants of influenza, among many other common vaccines that are essential for good health. The flu shot is safe and appropriate for all people over 6 months of age.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re an infant or 104, the flu vaccine is important and very safe,” states Dr. Adams, Family Medicine Physician at Hegg Health Center. “There are many common misconceptions about the flu and flu vaccines, but I’m here to answer any questions you may have. Know that one of the best ways to protect your health this time of year is to get your annual flu vaccine. We’d rather see you here at Hegg for your vaccine than see you sick in our emergency room or hospital.”

If you have not yet received your flu vaccine, now is better than later. There is still flu vaccine available at Hegg. Call the Hegg Avera Medical Clinic at 712-476-8100 to schedule a wellness visit and conveniently receive your flu vaccine at your appointment.