If you've been putting off getting your flu shot, you might want to take action, quickly, as the Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting more cases of Influenza being reported in Linn County.  The good news is that so far, the three strains that are circulating are the 3 that are covered by this year's vaccination. So if you've received your vaccination already, you should be okay.  The biggest concern at this point is a "drifted" strain of Influenza A (H3N2), which has so far accounted for almost half the illnesses seen across the nation.  Unfortunately, the CDC has revealed the current vaccine in not as effective in fighting that off.

So have you received your vaccination yet?  Or should you even bother? 

mm88 - Thinkstock

Linn County Public Health still says "Yes!"  Not only will it protect you against the 3 major strains, but it will take at least some of the bite out of the "drifted" strain, even if it can't protect you fully.  They also recommend you get it sooner than later, as more cases are being reported locally on a daily basis.  Also take into consideration that you're coming into contact with more people, who are out and about doing holiday shopping and traveling, meaning more germs being spread.

And while the vaccination does help, LCPH reminds us of the 3 best ways to protect yourself and keep the virus from spreading, known as the 3 C's:

  • Cover your cough/sneeze
  • Clean your hands often
  • Contain yourself at home when ill

So what are the symptoms?

Unfortunately, the flu is not necessarily nausea, and does come on quickly. Symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches, and will last anywhere from two to seven days.  It's not something to take lightly either, as the illness could be severe, and in some extreme cases has even lead to death.

So get the vaccination, wash your hands, cough into your home, and stay home if sick.  Hopefully, you can enjoy the holiday free of sickness.

[via Linn County Public Health]