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Widespread Influenza Levels in Iowa

After weeks of low to moderate influenza levels in Iowa, the Iowa Department of Public Health reports statewide surveillance indicates flu activity is increasing. The flu season typically peaks in February and can last as late as May. The most current surveillance shows cases of influenza have been confirmed by the State Hygienic Lab in every region of the state and the geographic reach of influenza is now categorized as ‘widespread,’ the highest level. In the last reporting week, the Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network indicated 130 influenza-related hospitalizations, mostly among those aged 64 or greater. Several flu outbreaks have been reported in long-term care facilities, especially in central and western Iowa. The most common flu virus circulating is the influenza A (H3N2) strain, although four different strains have been identified. In years when A (H3N2) viruses dominate, the flu season tends to be more severe with more hospitalizations and deaths. Based upon CDC’s national estimates, an average of 300,000 Iowans get the flu every year and together, flu and its complication of pneumonia cause an average of 1,000 deaths yearly in Iowa. Officials say the flu vaccine is the best defense against getting influenza; however, because some of the A (H3N2) viruses may only be partially covered in the vaccine, it’s even more important to take personal actions to help prevent the spread of illness. Remember the 3-Cs: Cover your coughs and sneezes; Clean your hands frequently; and Contain germs by staying home when ill. Anti-viral medications are an important second line of defense to treat the flu in persons at highest risk of developing more severe illness. Anti-viral medications can make flu illness shorter and reduce the risk of ending up in the hospital or dying from influenza. Antivirals work best if started within 48 hours or sooner of when flu symptoms begin. The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. The flu comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days. Influenza may cause severe illness or even death in people such as the very young or very old, or those who have underlying health conditions. (The “stomach bug” which causes diarrhea and vomiting is not caused by the influenza virus but usually by norovirus; thus, the flu vaccine will not protect you against this illness.) Influenza is not a ‘reportable disease’ in Iowa, which means doctors are not required to notify IDPH each time a patient tests positive for influenza; however, IDPH conducts year-round influenza surveillance through the Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network. This surveillance indicates what types of influenza viruses are circulating and how widespread influenza illness is.

DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING EXPANDS IN LATEST TECHNOLOGY

Marketing 001Diagnostic Imaging, formerly known as Radiology, has an advanced ultrasound unit which includes state of the art technology with the ability to perform arterial renal, liver, and extremities. The machine provides improved image quality and in most cases a quicker exam. We are proud to offer this exam option in our facility while providing high quality customer service to our community.

 

 

 

 

The Diagnostic Imaging department is staffed 7:00am-7:00pm Monday-Friday to perform a wide range of studies that include:

Ultrasounds | Computed Tomography Scans (CT) | Diagnostic X-ray | Digital Mammography | Biopsies | Bone Densitometry

Radiologic technologists, ultrasonographers, and a receptionist are available during this time. An on-call x-ray technologist is available from 7pm to 7am Monday-Friday and weekend hours for emergency testing and inpatient care.

Mobile services that come to Myrtue Medical Center for the convenience of our patients include:

•      Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI-3 days a week)
•      Nuclear medicine
•      Stereotactic breast biopsy
•      PET/CT

Committed to you ….Committed to our Community…..Committed to Healthcare

Influenza

influenza-virus

Worried about getting the flu?
- Get vaccinated
- Avoid ill people
- Wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizers often

Has the flu found you?
- Symptoms include
fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, possibly vomiting or diarrhea
- If you think you have the flu, stay home except to see your medical provider
- Cover your mouth when you cough
- Use a tissue on your nose
- Wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizers often

For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluiq.htm

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