CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Centers for Disease Control reports the flu is hitting especially hard this year. Flu deaths in the United States are up more than 65% so far this flu season.
More than 87,000 people have been hospitalized because of the flu. The strains spreading this year are affecting children the worst.
That means one of the most contagious places is a school classroom.
Iowa is one of the dozens of states reporting the highest activity of the flu.
The nonprofit “Teacher Store” in Cedar Rapids is giving away free flu-fighting supplies Tuesday and Thursday at the Linn Area Credit Union located at 3015 Blairs Ferry Road NE. The giveaway will run from 3:30 p.m. to -5:30 p.m.
Organizers plan to hand out more than 200 kits. It’s on a first come first serve basis.
Teachers just need to bring a valid school ID. This is a partnership with Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. They say they are seeing more flu cases lately.
The kit really helps teachers when their classroom supplies run low and they have to pay out of pocket to replace them. Each kit has disinfectant wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, as well as supplies for teachers to stay healthy like Tylenol, and vitamins.
"Obviously it's very important because you know districts have tighter budgets now,” said Lori Vana with The Teacher Store. “There's a greater need for maybe students that aren't able to purchase school supplies because they're expensive."
This is the 11th year the Teacher Store has given out flu kits.
"In a classroom, kids are in close proximity to one another,” said Melissa Cullum, Director of Community Benefit. “They may not always have the best hand hygiene, or follow some of the tips that you can do to prevent illnesses from spreading,”