The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


December 14, 2012

Health officials warn of upcoming flu season

CLINTON — While this flu season is projected to be the worst in nearly a decade, there are plenty of ways to combat or possibly even avoid the awful illness.

“It has been one of the worst years in the surrounding nation,”  Mercy Medical Center Infection Preventionist Jeff Sander Welzien said. “We haven’t seen as much locally, but we definitely anticipate a higher rate.”

Across the nation numbers have doubled for those afflicted with the seasonal illness, but in Clinton County there have only been a few confirmed cases so far. This is not surprising to local officials as it is still early in the season.

“The flu is hitting a lot earlier this year,” Genesis VNA Community Health Manager Michele Cullen said. “Historically the majority of the cases occur between the end of January and beginning of March. The last time I remember the flu hitting this hard this early was about eight years ago.”                                                One of the most effective ways to fight the flu is by getting a flu shot. Genesis Health System, the Genesis Health Services Foundation and Clinton County Visiting Nursing Foundation work together each year to provide free flu shots to students in Clinton County. This year they protected 45 percent of the students in the county from the flu.

“It really does help the numbers,” Cullen said. “Kids come into contact with so many people whether it be their baby sibling or their elderly grandparents.”

Like any other illness, the flu affects elderly and babies the most with serious consequences. Genesis VNA also offers flu clinics at many senior living complexes.

Another key demographic is health care workers who work directly with these groups and others who already have low immunity.

“We’ve increased our influenza vaccine rate and instituted policies to make sure workers are getting the flu shot,” Sander Welzien said. “About half of our employees have been vaccinated.”

Even those who have been vaccinated should still be wary of the symptoms, especially with the intense flu season this year.

While it is the best preventative measure to take, it is not a guarantee.

“If you get the shot, it may not totally prevent it,” Cullen said. “You may still get some of the symptoms, but it’s still the best thing you can do.”

Other ways to combat the flu include washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids.

The shot still remains the strongest line of defense against the common bug.

In some parts of the nation the season may be in full swing, but the flu shot is still offered months into the new year.

“It’s not too late,” Cullen said. “Even though the flu has started there is still time and flu shots are offered into February.”


Text Only
  • CCC Veterans Association host 'Honor Flight' showing CLINTON -- The Clinton Community College Student Veterans Association will be host a public showing of the Honor Flight Movie at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 8. The movie will be shown at Clinton Community College Auditorium, 1000 Lincoln Blvd., Clinton. The

    April 17, 2014

  • Sound of Music Screenings showcase films at TLP MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. -- Timber Lake Playhouse will host two events next month. A sing-along "Sound of Music" event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at the Mount Carroll theater. A screening of "Young Frankenstein

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • April is Donate Life Month

    CLINTON -- The month of April is National Donate Life Month across the United States. Hospitals across the nation, like Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, join to recognize the impact that organ and tissue donations make and to honor the generosity of

    April 17, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alternatives available for addicts DEAR ANNIE: I enjoy reading your column and agree with most of your advice, including your recommendations when it comes to handling alcohol addictions and binge drinking. I do not work in this field, but I've seen alternatives to AA that may be more

    April 12, 2014

  • Peace Soup Peace Soup completes 7th year CLINTON -- Peace Soup concluded its seventh year this week. Peace Soup was held for five Tuesdays during the Lenten season. The series for 2014, "Interfaith Connections to Peace," featured the topic of Christianity. Elizabeth Liggett, pastor at St.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Milkweed plants Raising awareness of milkweed MAQUOKETA -- The Hurstville Interpretive Center will attempt to raise public awareness about milkweed plants. The center is holding a plant sale for area residents to try to include more milkweed plants in the region for monarch butterflies. The sale

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Women's club extends sale CLINTON -- The Clinton Women's Club has extended the deadline for the group's annual silent auction. The deadline for bids is through Saturday for the purse and bag silent auction at the George Curtis Mansion, 420 Fifth Ave. South. During this past w

    April 9, 2014

  • Churches band together CLINTON -- Downtown churches will participate in the annual Way of the Cross next week. The 17th annual event will be held April 18 in downtown Clinton, signifying Good Friday. The community is invited to join in this event. Individuals may participa

    April 9, 2014

  • RV to take university 'mobile museum' on road IOWA CITY (AP) -- A 38-foot-long recreational vehicle sponsored by the University of Iowa will soon travel Iowa promoting the state's rich history. The Mobile Museum is expected to make its inaugural appearance in Fort Dodge this weekend, and stops i

    April 8, 2014

Front page
Clinton Herald Photos

Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.


Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.