An older adult has died of the flu in southeastern Nebraska, the first flu-related death this season in Nebraska.
State health officials report the victim was an adult over 65 from the Southeast District Health Department area, which includes Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, and Richardson Counties.
“Sadly an influenza-related death underscores the potential seriousness of the disease and the importance of vaccination to reduce the risk of illness, hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for Department of Health and Human Services.
Fifty-eight people died of the flu in Nebraska last season, including two children.
State officials urge Nebraskans to get vaccinated against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
Anyone can get the flu. Some, though, are at greater risk. State officials say it is important that the following get a flu shot:
· Young children
· Adults 65 years of age or older
· Pregnant women
· 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
· Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
State officials recommend only an injectable flu vaccine this season. The CDC has raised concerns about the effectiveness of the nasal spray flu vaccine. Reactions to the flu include soreness and redness at the injection site. It takes about two weeks after the shot for the body to build immunity.
Click here for more information about the flu vaccine.
Click here for more information about the flu.