The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reports eight cases of flu have been confirmed in Lincoln and flu activity has begun to increase within the last week.
Health Director Judy Halstead strongly recommends that all individuals age 6 months and older have a flu vaccine as soon as possible if they have not done so already.
Influenza is a highly infectious disease of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness and lead to death. Flu vaccination is the primary method for preventing influenza and antibodies that protect against flu virus infection develop about two weeks after vaccination.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, current strains of flu viruses are covered by the 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccine. Flu vaccinations are especially important for those at high risk of having serious flu-related complications and those who live with or care for people at high risk.
The flu vaccine is available and easily accessible in the community. Those needing a flu vaccine should contact their health care providers or find a community flu immunization location. The LLCHD will provide flu vaccine to low-income, uninsured adults and certain uninsured children.
To be eligible for a flu vaccine at the Health Department, children must be between age 6 months through 18 years and have Medicaid coverage, have no health insurance or be under insured or be American Indian and/or Alaskan Native.
LLCHD requires appointments for flu vaccinations. For more information, call 402-441-8065 or visit lincoln.ne.gov.