A top Iowa health official calls this the worst flu season the state has seen in many years.
State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk noted Friday that influenza will likely keep going around until April. She says vaccines are still available, but people may have to call more than one location to find where shots are available.
Complete statewide figures on the number of flu cases are not available. The state gets data from 21 of Iowa's 118 hospitals. At those hospitals, there were 141 hospitalizations due to influenza in the first week of January. Quinlisk says there were never more than 20 hospitalizations during that same week in the past few years.
Flu deaths are not immediately reported to the Iowa Health Department, so a tally isn't available.
In response to the widespread flu outbreak the Visiting Nurses Association will hold a flu clinic in Omaha Saturday. The clinic will be held at the VNA's office at 12565 West Center Road from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Both the flu vaccine and FluMist will be available to anyone six months of age or older. The shot is $25 and the FluMist is available for $30. An appointment is not needed.