Nebraska community confirms its first flu-related death in two years
Safety measures put into place to fight COVID-19 have largely been credited for influenza's disappearance
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KLKN) – A woman in her 70s has been reported as the first flu-related death in two years in the Central District.
This report comes after the season’s first deaths related to influenza were reported earlier this month by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Two Rivers Public Health Department, Sarpy/Cass Health Department, and the Douglas County Health Department.
Health officials in the Central District said the woman who died was vaccinated for the flu.
The Central District Health Department (CDHD) said it is important to note that the same measures used to “flatten the COVID-19 curve” halted influenza spread. Influenza was virtually nonexistent for the 2020-2021 season likely because people were wearing masks, staying home more often, and not socializing. The flu is a virus that spreads in a similar way to COVID-19, through large and small droplets.
Experts say to be cautious, as the flu can be more risky to persons age 65 years and older, pregnant, and post-partum women, children younger than age 5 years, and persons of any age with certain underlying medical conditions.