The Douglas County Health Department has confirmed the county’s first pediatric death of the current flu season. The health department says the child was under 18 years old, but did not specify the age. It's not known if the child was vaccinated.
The most recent CDC report on the flu season stated there had been 28 pediatric deaths in the United States this flu season, including the one here locally.
Douglas County has reported nine adult flu deaths, all of them involving people at least 50 years old. Most of those cases involved individuals with other underlying medical conditions.
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get the vaccine, especially pregnant women, and anyone over 65 years of age or who has a chronic disease. In cases where the vaccine does not prevent influenza, it generally reduces the severity of the illness. The vaccine takes two weeks before it provides protection.
The flu season runs from October through April, so it is not too late to get a flu shot. Other ways to protect yourself from the flu include washing your hands and covering your cough. Anyone who becomes ill should stay home for 24 hours after they have recovered from the illness and are free of a fever.
Douglas County had 2,851 confirmed flu cases in the most recent report. It will be updated February 19.