Iowa reports 2 flu deaths, the first of the 2019-2020 season: officials

Iowa health officials late last week reported the state’s first flu-related deaths of the 2019-2020 season.

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The deaths were reported in a Central Iowa woman between the ages of 61 and 80. Another adult, a Northwest Iowa woman who was above the age of 81, also died. Both women, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), had “underlying conditions or contributing factors” to their respective deaths. It’s not clear if they had been vaccinated against the virus or not.

"The flu virus does have the potential to cause severe illness and death, especially in the very young, very old, or those who have underlying health conditions. This is a great time to get the flu vaccine to prevent yourself and your loved ones from becoming sick before flu activity increases further,” said IDPH Medical Director Dr. Caitlin Pedati, in a statement.

Around the same time last week, health officials in Texas reported the state’s first pediatric flu death of this year’s flu season.

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The child, who was not identified, was a 5-year-old from the Rio Grande area, according to a Friday tweet from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). He or she had not been vaccinated against the virus, officials said.