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Red Cross Urges Everyone to Get Flu Shots

Red Cross Urges Everyone to Get Flu Shots

By Carrie Murphy. CREATED Jan 10, 2013

Omaha, NE - Federal health officials will issue a new report on the flu tomorrow. Twenty-nine states currently report high levels of flu-related illnesses, according to the Centers For Disease Control. Nebraska has reported more than two hundred confirmed influenza cases to the CDC.

This week, the Lancaster County Health Department reported the first flu deaths in Nebraska, including a two-year-old boy who had not been vaccinated.

In central Iowa, hospitals are asking people to see their primary care doctors or go to urgent care clinics if they have flu symptoms and go to the emergency room only for life-threatening illnesses. Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines is limiting hospital visitors.

Omaha-area doctors are beginning to run out of flu vaccine. The Visiting Nurses Association does have vaccine available.  The cost is $25 for the shot; $30 for the flu mist.  Many insurance policies cover the cost of the vaccine.

The American Red Cross is now urging everyone to get the vaccine.  The CDC recommends the vaccine for everyone six months and older.

To prevent the flu:

*Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, or cough into your elbow, not your hands

*Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand rub

*Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

*Avoid contact with people who are sick

*Stay home if you are sick

Flu symptoms:

*High Fever

*Severe body aches

*Headache

*Severe fatigue

*Sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose

*vomiting and/or diarrhea (more common in children)