DES MOINES, Iowa —A family who lost their teenage daughter to influenza is speaking out about the importance of getting vaccinated. Watch video On Monday the Iowa Department of Public Health said two men died from flu-like symptoms. This year's flu season is hitting Central Iowa early. "Bottom line is, the flu is here and it's going to get worse,” said Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, of the Iowa Department of Public Health. The approximately 50 Unity Point clinics and urgent care centers in central Iowa report a combined 28 cases of influenza since the first of October. It's an early start to the 300,000 cases health experts are anticipating this flu season. This Thanksgiving would have marked Amber Gray's 15th birthday. She died six days after being diagnosed with Influenza A last December. "I hope nobody has to go through what we went through,” said Rex Gray, Amber’s father. News of two flu deaths is a painful reminder for Amber's grandmother. “It's just, oh no, here we go again,” Sue Rogers said. Amber caught a strain of the flu that health officials say last year's vaccination did not match well with. "This year they've been matching all of the viruses they've seen in the northern hemisphere, and those all seem to be very good matches to the vaccine,” Quinlisk said. Amber's family is relieved by the progress made for more effective vaccinations, but still urge Iowans to take charge of their health. "I still think everybody ought to go get the flu vaccination. I'm a firm believer in vaccinations,” Rogers said. Source: Family encourages flu vaccines a year after teen dies
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