Albuquerque, NM — Widespread flu activity is being reported across much of the country and the American Red Cross urges people who have not yet gotten a flu vaccine to get vaccinated now.
The Red Cross also has steps people can take to prevent the spread of the flu virus during what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says is the worst influenza outbreak in several years in the United States.
Widespread flu activity is reported in 41 states - Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
STEPS TO PREVENT FLU The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting someone against flu viruses. In addition to getting vaccinated, the Red Cross has some simple steps people can take to help prevent the spread of the flu virus. Parents can also practice these things with their kids to help keep them well:
SIGNS OF THE FLU How does someone know they have the flu? The common signs of influenza are high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea (more common in children).
If someone in the household does come down with the flu, the Red Cross wants everyone to know the best way to care for them:
CALL THE DOCTOR If someone thinks they have the flu, their health-care provider should be consulted. Seek medical care immediately if the person develops any of the following symptoms:
• No tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than normal (children).
More information about how to help protect loved ones during this flu season is available on redcross.org.
The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American people to fulfill our mission. To help the Red Cross continue to save lives, contributions may be made to the American Red Cross Local Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-560-2302. Contributions to the Local Disaster Relief Fund may also be sent to the American Red Cross in New Mexico by mail: American Red Cross in New Mexico, 7445 W. Pan American Fwy. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, or made online at www.redcrossnewmexico.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org
Media Contact: Beverly Allen, Communications Coordinator, (505) 220-3097, Beverly.Allen@redcross.org