Friday, January 18, 2013

Shoo Flu, Don't Bother Me!

As the old adage says, "what goes around, comes around." How have you been fairing this flu season?  Thus far, I have been doing alright, however yesterday I was shopping at the grocery store and an elderly woman was wearing a white medical mask over her face. It was a reminder that this year's flu season is still very much among us here in Iowa.  This year the flu season started earlier* and the number of cases being reported cases is much greater.  To illustrate this point compare the tables below.  The tables show the number of specimens tested for the influenza virus, comparing the this year's results to the results the year before.  This year (January 5, 2013) 2317 specimens were tested as compared to 368 specimens in the year before (January 7, 2012). To see the complete Iowa FLU Reports click here.   
*The Iowa Dept of Public Health began recording cases of influenza in September 2012 compared to the year before when record keeping started in October 2011.

 Specimens tested by the State Hygienic Laboratory for week ending January 5, 2013 (Tables from the Weekly Iowa FLU Report -

 Specimens tested by the State Hygienic Laboratory for week ending January 7, 2012 (Tables from the Weekly Iowa FLU Report -
 The trends here in Iowa also mirrored across the nation.  Observe in the maps below that most of the country went from low levels for flu being reported in mid-November to the flu being reported widespread across the country in early January. Click here to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Map website.

CDC Influenza Map for November 17, 2012

CDC Influenza Map for December 15, 2012

CDC Influenza Map for January 5, 2013

Stay warm and well!

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