Red Cross declares "urgent need," slim blood supply - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Red Cross declares "urgent need," blames flu virus for slim blood supply

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Fewer people in Iowa are going to the hospital for the flu, but the Iowa Department of Public Health said influenza cases remain widespread across the state.

The American Red Cross said the flu virus is impacting its blood supply and causing an "urgent need" of type O negative and type B negative blood donations.

Kelsey Reiter, a Donor Recruitment Representative in Waterloo, said influenza has made regular donors sick.

"If donors do end up with the flu, we ask that they find a replacement who is a healthy donor to fill that void," said Reiter.

The Red Cross recommends donors wait to donate if they don't feel well. It also recommends waiting 24-hours after all symptoms have cleared before donating blood.

Reiter said now is the perfect time for people to start donating blood since fewer people are healthy enough to donate and the need isn't changing.

To schedule an appointment, visit the American Red Cross online or call 1-800-733-2767.

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