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Shutdown at CDC Slows Flu Tracking
CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28) Rolling up his sleeves and getting a flu shot is part of Tim Fairlies yearly routine.
"Ive done it for about the last four or five years and haven't had the flu since," Fairlie said.
For the past week, he and hundreds of others have been lining up to get vaccinations--some places giving as many as 200 shots in the past week.
"First part of October is when it really hit," said Karen Stufflebeam, a pharmacy technician at HyVee.
But, it's also when things shut down in Washington D.C. causing the furlough of thousands of Center for Disease Control workers who normally track the spread and severity of the flu--but can't.
Even the CDC's webpage which lets the public track the flu state by state hasn't been updated since the shutdown.
Its caused a ripple effect on local agencies.
"There may be things that are slower getting down because of the furlough, but people are still going to be taken care of," said Heather Meador, a nurse at Linn County Public Health.
Meador says even though the federal government isn't working, the state is. Any peaks or disturbing trends for this year's flu season is being reported to them.
"That will trickle down to the local level, so that information will still be out there, she said.
Its a backup plan officials hope they won't need for much longer.
"We want them back, up and functioning," Meador said.