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      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 stronglyrecommending that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated as soon aspossible, 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, andpregnant women get vaccinated," says Katie Wichman. "But everyoneneeds to get it."

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

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

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

      • The flu shot cannot give you the flu. You mayhave been exposed to a different illness not covered by theshot.
      • Exposure to the flu after you got vaccinated butbefore the vaccine took effect. It takes two weeks for your body to buildprotection against the flu.
      • Exposure to a different flu virus that was verydifferent from the virus included in that year's vaccine.

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

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

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

      • The minor discomfort of a flu shot is nothingcompared to the suffering that can be caused by influenza. The flu can make yousick 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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