On Tuesday, October 25th, the American Red Cross will conduct a Health Fair at Broadmoor Baptist Church (4110 Youree Drive in Shreveport) from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm.  The Red Cross will have the traditional Health Fair tests available. Participants can have for a blood chemistry profile for $40.00, including breakdowns of the coronary risk assessment, thyroid function and lipid profiles, or, for men only, the same profile plus a prostate cancer blood screen (PSA) test for $50.00. Test results are usually mailed to the participant=s house about a week after the fair. Individuals should bring a 44-cent stamp, or the money to buy one and should fast for 12 hours prior to the testing for more accurate results (water is okay).

Another feature of Health Fair will be the availability of flu and pneumonia vaccinations. Flu vaccines will be available for $25.00 and pneumonia vaccines will be available for $30.00. Individuals with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana insurance can receive the flu shot at no cost. The flu season in our area runs from around November to March and getting vaccinated early can help protect you for the entire season. It takes about two weeks after immunization for your body to develop an immune response. Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications if they get the flu. This includes older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease). The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.

Unlike influenza, pneumonia is not a seasonal disease -- it can strike at any time. Pneumonia is a leading cause of preventable death among those age 65 and older. It is to blame for up to 45,000 deaths each year in the United States -- approximately 50% of those deaths could be prevented through the use of a pneumonia vaccine. *  Pneumococcal pneumonia, a bacteria infection, preys upon individuals whose resistance is lowered due to age or decreased immune system function. One pneumonia vaccination protects most people for many years, however a booster may be recommend for those at risk. The U.S. government recommends the vaccine for anyone over the age of 65 years of age, adults and children with chronic lung or heart problems, people treated in the last year for cystic fibrosis, kidney disease, anemia, severe asthma, or chronic metabolic illnesses, such as diabetes, and for people with weak immune systems, such as those on chemotherapy or are HIV-positive. It is not recommended for pregnant women or children under the age of two.

For more information on this Health Fair, upcoming flu vaccination clinics, or any other Red Cross program or service, call (318) 865-9545, or visit our website at www.LouisianaRedCross.org.