Health Department Releases Health Advisory for Flu Outbreak - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Health Department Releases Health Advisory for Flu Outbreak

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With the recent outbreak of flu related deaths, the Central District Health Department is alerting the public with an Influenza health advisory.

Two flu related deaths have been confirmed in the state of Nebraska in Lancaster County. According to the Lincoln-Lancaster Health Department, neither were immunized against the flu.

"With these recent deaths and rising influenza cases we are strongly recommending that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated as soon as possible, if they haven't done so already," says Katie Wichman, community health nurse at the Central District Health Department.

Children, seniors and anyone affected by a chronic medical condition are at the most risk of contracting the flu and developing complications with the illness.

"It is especially important that children, older adults, and pregnant women get vaccinated," says Katie Wichman. "But everyone needs to get it."

Influenza symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and tiredness. These symptoms will usually last between a few days to less than 2 weeks. For those that do come down with the virus, antiviral medications can be prescribed by a physician to lessen the symptoms and shorten the time you are sick.

CDHD wants to dispel some popular myths circulating about the flu:

#1) "I got a flu vaccine once, and I still got sick!"

  • The flu shot cannot give you the flu. You may have been exposed to a different illness not covered by the shot. 
  • Exposure to the flu after you got vaccinated but before the vaccine took effect. It takes two weeks for your body to build protection against the flu.
  • Exposure to a different flu virus that was very different from the virus included in that year's vaccine.

#2) "I'm healthy; therefore I don't need a flu vaccine."

  • Anyone can become sick with the flu. Older people, young children, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions are at especially high risk from serious flu-related complications.

#3) "I hate shots, it is not for me."

  • The minor discomfort of a flu shot is nothing compared to the suffering that can be caused by influenza. The flu can make you sick for several days, send you to the hospital, or worse. 

To receive a flu shot, call the CDHD at (308) 385-5175.

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