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Iowa worst in the nation for flu-like illnesses

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Fueled by a jump in COVID-19 cases, Iowa monitors the most common flu-related illnesses in the country and is not even close.

The Centers for Disease Control rated Iowa at a “very high” level of flu-like activity, or ILI. The next highest states are at a “low” level.

ILI activity is measured by the percentage of hospital visits due to illnesses with flu-like symptoms, including COVID-19. Iowa’s current rate is 5.7% compared to the national average of 1.5%. The ILI rate in Iowa is also significantly higher than in previous years, when the rate was around 1

% at this time of year.

The data contained in the weekly state report on influenza suggest that the jump is largely due to the increase in COVID-19, as other observations of influenza and pneumonia remain low.

“However, sites and / or counties that report high ILI report that most of the disease is due to COVID-19,” the report said.

Rhinovirus, the cause of the common cold, is the most common cause of flu-like symptoms reported in Iowa outside of the flu and COVID-19.

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