Flu activity ‘widespread’ both locally and statewide

Flu is considered “widespread” across Nebraska this month by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Both influenza A and B virus are “very prevalent” in the Boone County Health Center service area, according to Dr. Joel Travis of BCHC.
Records show that the five BCHC clinics had 27 positive influenza cases in December, and 31 more from Jan. 1 through Jan. 17.
Of the 58 total cases, 23 were type A and 35 were type B.
DHHS continues to report very high levels of flu and flu-related hospitalizations across the state.
A DHHS report showed 24 Nebraskans have died from the flu as of Jan. 18, including at least one child. Average age of those who died was 67.
“This is a severe flu season and it’s having a significant impact on the health of Nebraskans,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, state epidemiologist for DHHS. “We expect high levels of flu activity for several more weeks, which means more illness, hospitalizations and deaths. Vaccination continues to play a critical role, especially for those at high risk of flu-related complications. Antiviral medication for people who have the flu is equally important and so are preventive measures like washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home if you’re sick.”

Read the full story in the Jan. 29 Albion News print and e editions.