First flu deaths of season reported in Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Two Rivers Public Health Department, Sarpy/Cass Health Department, and the Douglas County Health Department have reported the first influenza-associated deaths this season. The four flu deaths include individuals over the age of 50:
- 1 with influenza B
- 3 with influenza A, including 1 with coinfection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
- Residing in Two Rivers Public Health Department, Sarpy/Cass Health Department, and Douglas County Health Department
Two Rivers Public Health covers Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney and Phelps Counties.
Flu activity is currently elevated in the State. DHHS says getting the annual flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu.
“The flu can be a life-threatening disease for some, and can get anyone sick,” said Dr. Matthew Donahue, State Epidemiologist. “Influenza is now spreading throughout the State in addition to COVID-19. If you get sick, stay home. The most effective prevention measure for the flu is the flu vaccine.”
In addition to getting vaccinated, prevention measures can also protect against the flu:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze. Throw the used tissue in a wastebasket.
- Practice non-pharmaceutical interventions If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
- After coughing or sneezing, always clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, towels, or other personal items.
- Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possible.
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