As flu cases rise early nationwide, Lincoln’s health department urges vaccination
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — After a CDC report suggested an early rise in the seasonal flu, Lincoln health officials are encouraging people to get a flu shot.
While increased flu activity has mostly been seen in southern portions of the United States, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department recommends that people get ahead of it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 6 months and up receive a flu shot every year, ideally by the end of October. Flu is most prominent between December and February.
“We expect to have COVID-19 and flu circulating in the community at the same time,” Tim Timmons, the health department’s communicable disease program supervisor, said in a press release. “Getting our yearly flu vaccine and staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting an updated booster as soon as you’re eligible will help keep us healthy this fall and winter and preserve hospital capacity.”
The department said COVID-19 and flu vaccinations can be taken at the same time. Flu vaccines are widely available, with the health department providing shots for those eligible.
In its report, the CDC also noted a recent uptick in respiratory illness before the outset of this year’s flu season.
Locally, the health departments has reported an increase in respiratory syncytial virus in recent months. In October, it recorded 81 cases of RSV, an increase of 55 cases since August.
Across Nebraska, the number of RSV cases have tripled from the beginning of last October.
To find an immunization location near you, you can visit vaccines.gov.