A flu-related death has been recorded in Nebraska, a wake-up call to take the flu seriously.
An older adult died of the flu in southeastern Nebraska, the first flu-related death this season in Nebraska.
“It’s tragic, but it underscores the potential for influenza to cause very serious health problems, including fatalities. So, we take it very seriously,” Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist, tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Safranek urges Nebraskans to get a flu shot, the most effective step to keep from getting sick.
“So, six months and older there’s a broad, universal recommendation, with very few exceptions people who have allergies and all, but anybody over the age of six months is recommended to get the influenza vaccination,” Safranek says.
Also, wash your hands and those who get sick need to stay home to keep the flu from spreading.
Fifty-eight people died of the flu in Nebraska last season, including two children.
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.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]