Latest Iowa Figures Point to Bad Flu Season

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More and more Iowa flu cases have been reported, and officials say the seasonal outbreak could get even worse now that children are back in school.

The Des Moines Register reports that at least 151 people were hospitalized for flu complications in Iowa during the last week of December. The Iowa Department of Public Health says that during the last week of December 2011, public health officials didn't record any flu hospitalizations.

Department medical director Patricia Quinlisk said Monday that she doubts the tide of illnesses will ebb soon. Quinlisk says the flu incidences show "all the hallmarks of a relatively bad and prolonged flu season."

She says people who traveled during the holidays were exposed to viruses that quickly could be spread by children who have resumed classes.

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