Marion County Public Health nurse Judi Van Hulzen says that flu conditions aren’t quite as bad in Marion County as they are elsewhere in the country. Despite that, she tells KNIA/KRLS News that the virus is still widespread. Van Hulzen says that the flu vaccine remains available at a variety of pharmacies and clinics – there have been no reports of shortages yet locally.
Van Hulzen explains the vaccine is protecting against most of the influenza strains being spread and advises that anyone six months or older receive the vaccine. Van Holzen adds it’s not just about protecting yourself, but others whom you interact with as well, including the very young and the elderly. If you do think you may have flu-like symptoms, it’s recommended you do not go to school or work; instead, stay home or visit the doctor and contain your symptoms from spreading to others.
Pella Schools Superintendent Greg Ebeling says that schools step up their cleaning efforts during cold and flu season, and make sure to disinfect things that are touched by multiple students throughout the day, in an effort to decrease the spread of illnesses. He says if a large enough number of the student body were to contract the flu, administration would consider cancelling school for a couple of days to stop it from spreading further. But he says in 12 years of being a superintendent, he’s never seen that happen. Both Pella and Knoxville Schools report no significant increase in flu cases since coming back from break.