Four additional influenza-related deaths in the state were reported Friday by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
This brings to six the total of flu-related deaths in Iowa since October, the department said in a statement.
The department does not release names or the locations of where those deaths occurred. It did note three of the four people reported Friday were at least 81 years old and one 61 or older.
Two of the six deaths were in northwest Iowa, two in the southeast and one each in eastern and northeastern Iowa, it said.
Three had underlying conditions or contributing factors in their illness, the department said in the statement.
“These deaths are a sad reminder that influenza hits the very young, very old and those with weakened immune systems especially hard,” Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, state epidemiologist and Public Health Department medical director, said in the release.
“While it’s important that these individuals get the flu vaccine, it’s equally important that young and healthy Iowans be vaccinated so they don’t spread the flu to others who may be at higher risk.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages anyone six months of age or older to get a flu vaccination.