We're told that one of the early-warning signs of a flu outbreak is to watch how often people search for symptoms (Google even tracks this information). But another is to take a quick stroll through the medicine aisle at the store. And judging from my latest trip to the store, there's definitely something going around.
So far, though we have recorded one flu-related death in Iowa this season, it would seem that we're doing better than last season's truly awful outbreak. But there's still a long way to go. If you haven't gotten a flu shot, get one! The CDC recommends it for everyone ages 6 months and older.
Not every virus or winter sickness is the flu, of course -- in my social circles, it seems there's a rough but otherwise run-of-the-mill cold virus going around Des Moines that leads to sore throats and some sinus congestion. But until we have a vaccine for the common cold, let's please do our best to protect vulnerable neighbors by getting as much herd immunity as we can.