HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Since the beginning 2019, Nebraska has been considered "widespread" for flu activity in the state. It is the most active state in the Midwest.
There are only ten other states that are listed as widespread.
As of January 5, there has been 14 influenza-associated deaths for all ages in Nebraska according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Center for Disease control is urging people to either get the flu shot or take extra steps to prevent from catching it. This year's flu outbreak is more mild than last season which was severe for most of the country.
“The CDC is actually saying that we're not seeing as many cases as we did last year so that tells me they think the flu shot is more effective this year,” Mary Lanning Healthcare Employee Infection Prevention Manager Janet Riese said. “What's concerning is you still have the people that get it that have taken the flu shot.”
Nurses say the flu shot can be given during any time of the season.
“No they can absolutely get the flu shot at any of the facilities that give them,” Riese said. “Your doctor's office or pharmacies can give them. Mary Lanning employees are welcome to come here as well as our volunteers and get their flu shots.”
Even though it can be hard taking time off of work , nurses strongly encourage people to stay home if they have a fever over 100.1. The fever needs to be below that number without medicine to return to work
Children and people over the age of 65 are the most susceptible to getting the flu. People with weakened immune systems should also take precaution for the rest of the season.