The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) reminds the public that a flu vaccination is the most effective way to reduce the risk of getting influenza. Influenza is a highly infectious disease of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness and lead to death. Symptoms may include fever or feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
LLCHD officials said there is little flu activity in the community now, but it is best to get a flu shot early. It takes up to two weeks to develop full immunity to the flu after being vaccinated. Last year's immunization will not provide adequate protection for this flu season.
The flu vaccine is easily accessible, and residents are encouraged to contact their health care providers or find a community flu immunization location. LLCHD will provide free flu immunizations to uninsured and underinsured adults. Children between ages 6 months through 18 years are also eligible and must meet one or more of these criteria:
For more information, call 402-441-8065 or visit health.lincoln.ne.gov (select "Vaccine Clinic" under "Community Health Services").
The Centers for Disease Control recommend everyone age six months and older receive the flu vaccine every year. A flu immunization is especially important for the following individuals:
Individuals can also reduce the risk of getting and spreading influenza by covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when they cough or sneeze, washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and staying home if they have symptoms. Mothers of newborns who have received the flu immunization and are breastfeeding can provide some protection against flu to the infant.