Reported cases of influenza across Nebraska have been very low so far this winter.
State health officials have only confirmed about a dozen cases and one death from the flu — an elderly Douglas County woman.
Deb Scholten, head of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne, says there have been sporadic flu reports.
“It’s just been a few situations here and there but it hasn’t been real strong,” Scholten says. “We’re hoping it’s because so many people have responded and gotten flu shots already.”
Scholten says flu cases normally hit their highest levels about now.
“They peak in January or February and, of course, we’ve gotten through January and February is about to start,” Scholten says. “Our weather has been so unusual this year. We don’t know if that’s a factor also. We still urge people, if they haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, it’s in their best interests to go out and get one.”
Scholten says there are also minor outbreaks of pertussis, or whooping cough, especially in the Sioux City area. She recommends people who haven’t had a booster shot for that illness to get one.
Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton