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State Health Officials Urge Iowans to Get a Flu Shot

DES MOINES, Iowa — As Iowa continues to battle the coronavirus, health professionals are urging people to get a flu shot.

Health professionals are worried about COVID-19 patients and flu patients overwhelming hospitals.

“Yes, we do encourage people to also get their flu shot because as we go deeper and deeper into cold and flu season, then that’s an extra burden that is expected in hospitals,” said Dr. Rossana Rosa, an infectious disease specialist with UnityPoint Health.

Meanwhile, health professionals are blaming the recent rise in coronavirus cases on community spread. 

“This is just what’s expected to happen when you have such uncontrolled transmission in the community. For the month of October, we averaged more than 1,000 new cases per day. There is always going to be a lag behind the number of new cases and the number of hospitalized patients,” said Dr. Rosa. “That’s what we are seeing now. What’s even more worrisome is that starting last week, we’d started to average 2,000 new cases per day, so where we’re heading is not good.”

Broadlawns Medical Center is currently caring for several coronavirus patients.  In a statement, the medical center wrote:

“Polk County COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase. Together, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, Broadlawns Medical Center, MercyOne Des Moines and West Des Moines Medical Centers and U.S Department of Veteran Affairs – Central Iowa Health Care System are caring for between 105-115 total coronavirus patients.”

Broadlawns also wrote:

“With increased COVID-19 hospitalizations across Iowa, we are working with our public health partners, to ensure we have the necessary beds, equipment, staffing and PPE to safely meet all of the medical needs of our communities. We remain prepared to adjust for additional coronavirus care if needed. The bottom line is our hospitals and healthcare systems need your help.”

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