State officials report that a child has died from the flu.
The Department of Health and Human Services says that Lancaster County has reported two deaths due to the flu; one a two-year old child, the other a man in his 60s.
“While most children and adults recover from the flu, this is a sad reminder of how serious it can be,” says Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said in a written statement released by DHHS. “Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for there to be some child deaths during a normal flu season, but they have been extremely rare in Nebraska. We offer our condolences to both families.”
DHHS reminds Nebraskans that children can be more susceptible to flu complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, nationally, 18 children have died from the flu.
The CDC recommends flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older.
DHHS warns that the flu poses greater risks for certain people. It recommends they get a flu shot:
· Young children under 5 years old
· Older people
· People with chronic lung disease (like asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions and certain other long-term health conditions
· Pregnant women
According to state health officials say it’s not too late to get the flu vaccine. Flu activity in Nebraska hasn’t peaked yet, according to officials, though it arrived a little earlier with the first flu cases reported in October.
Here are some additional flu prevention tips from state health officials:
· Wash your hands often
· Avoid contact with people who are sick
· Stay home from work, family gatherings and social functions if you’re sick
· Cover your mouth and nose when you cough with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands
· Eat healthy and get plenty of rest
· Don’t smoke
DHHS has more flu information at its website, you can access it by clicking here.