A child has died of the flu in eastern Nebraska.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says that while it is not unusual for children to die of the flu, such deaths have been rare in Nebraska. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 34 children have died from the flu this season.
The child’s identity has not been released by DHHS, which has released little information about the death.
“While most people recover from flu, it can also be a life-threatening illness,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS in a written statement released by the department. “We do see thousands of hospitalizations and sadly several deaths related to flu every season.”
DHHS reports there have been 33 flu-related deaths in Nebraska so far this year.
Flu activity peaked in early February, according to DHHS. Still, it continues to circulate at high levels and will remain active for several more weeks.
DHHS advises using antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu as early as possible in people who have a flu-like illness. The department advises all Nebraskans to get a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
DHHS offers these tips to protect yourself from the flu:
· 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
Young children as well as adults 65 years of age or older are more at risk for the flu as are pregnant women, people with chronic lung disease, diabetes, and other long-term health conditions.
For more information on the flu and how to avoid getting sick, visit this DHHS website, by clicking here.