We are learning more about flu related deaths in Douglas County.Health Director Dr. Adi Pour says there have been seven deaths in the county so far this season.All of the victims have been about 50 years of age.
Dr. Pour says, "What is really interesting is that only three had underlying illnesses.What that means to me is that you can be perfectly well and the flu can have detrimental outcomes for you."Several of the victims were vaccinated.
Dr. Pour says it is also important that we recognize the symptoms and take care of it as soon as possible.There is Tamiflu and other antivirals that need to be taken within 48 hours of the onset of illness.Those who had a recent cold, are stressed, overweight or don't get at least 8 hours of sleep a night are more susceptible to the flu.
The strain that is showing up in Nebraska isn't what is typically seen in the rest of the country.Dr. Pour says, "The most prominent strain in Nebraska is the A strain, the H-3 strain that is a little bit different than what we are seeing nationwide.It may be that strain we are seeing here locally is more severe and the outcome is more severe.That may also explain some of the news articles you see that Nebraska is the number one state for Tamiflu prescriptions.It makes a lot of sense that this is occurring at the same time.
Don't forget to take precautions.Dr. Pour says that includes washing your hands, staying home if yu are ill, don't touch your eyes or mouth, avoid those who are sick and make sure to clean surfaces that could be infected.
More than 300 new cases were confirmed in the county last week alone.