Widespread flu cases across Nebraska

Posted By: Sarah Fili

sfili@klkntv.com

As always, between November and April flu cases in Nebraska go up. But this year, they’re hitting later than expected- and the health department wants you to be careful.

There’s no surprise it’s flu season in Nebraska.  But, the health department says this year it’s a bit unusual. They say it’s hitting later than expected. But people don’t seem to be too worried.

"I’m a teacher so I very rarely get sick, I feel like I have a pretty strong immune system. So I don’t usually don’t worry too much about it. I’m pretty sure if I was going to get it it’s already gone around my building,” Kim Wood, an elementary school teacher, said.

"I normally do not get terribly sick, maybe once a year sometimes in the spring,” Michael Barnard said.

The flu strand that’s going around Lincoln this season is covered in the flu shots and mists. It’s not too late to get one. If you don’t want to see the doctor, what else can you do?

"Hand washing! Keeping your hands off your face. If you’re sick stay out of the workplace, stay out of crowds. Let your body heal itself before you go around exposing other people,” Dr. Tom Safranek, the state epidemiologist, said.

The virus can live on hard surfaces for 8 hours, and spread up to 6 feet away. So what do you look for if you’re getting sick? A fever, chills, aches and feeling tired. If you think you’re coming down with the flu, head to a doctor right away- the sooner you’re on a medication, the sooner you’ll feel better. The doctor says the flu could knock you out for more than a month. But, good news! Doctor Safranek says the weather this week may also help kick the virus.

"We’re hoping that warmer weather causes people to be less congregated and crowded, and maybe sunlight is a disinfectant sort of and it may play a role in chasing influenza out of here!"

Of course the groups with the biggest risk are children and the elderly. The doctor says the best defense, is a good offense.