Published on January 13, 2020

Influenza Widespread Across Iowa

PELLA, Iowa— Influenza is now widespread across Iowa according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness and can cause mild to severe sickness. Severe complications are more common in the very young, the elderly, and others with serious medical conditions. Symptoms of influenza include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • tiredness
  • vomiting and diarrhea, though more common in children than adults

“It is important for people sick with the flu to stay home and rest due to how easily the flu can spread,” said Jennifer Weidenaar, RN BSN, Infection Preventionist at Pella Regional. “Staying home and taking care of themselves leads to a quicker recovery.” 

Warning Signs of an Emergency in Children

  • trouble breathing
  • blue lips or face
  • chest pain
  • severe muscle pain
  • seizures
  • not drinking enough fluids
  • not able to wake up
  • fever with a rash
  • irritability that makes a child not want to be held
  • flu-like symptoms ease then return with a fever and worsening cough

Warning Signs of an Emergency in Adults

  • difficulty breathing
  • pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • sudden dizziness
  • confusion
  • severe or persistent vomiting
  • severe muscle pain
  • fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen 

Prevention Tips

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 15-20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Stay home from school or work.
  • Receive your flu vaccine every year.
  • Contact your health care provider if you experience flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay away from others you know are sick
  • Clean surfaces frequently with a bleach solution of ¼ cup bleach with 1 gallon of water.

People need to stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after the fever (temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) is gone without using fever-reducing medicine, or after symptoms have improved (at least 4-5 days after flu symptoms started), according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you have flu symptoms, walk-In appointments are available at Pella Medical Clinic located at 405 Monroe Street Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm and on Sunday from Noon to 7 pm. Walk-in appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm at Medical Clinic in Ottumwa located at 920 N. Quincy Avenue and  Medical Clinic in Knoxville located at 1208 N. Lincoln. Reserve a spot or check wait times at www.pellahealth.org/walkin or just come and check in with a receptionist.