Flu Numbers Low in the Region

Grand Island, NE – The flu season has yet to hit Hall, Hamilton and Merrick Counties, meaning there’s still time to protect yourself against this seasonal illness by getting a flu shot.

Based on laboratory confirmed cases reported to CDHD, fewer than 10 cases have been reported in the Central District. Numbers are very likely to rise as last year saw more than 120 lab confirmed cases, marking the busiest flu season since 2018-2019. Flu season typically runs from October through May each year, usually peaking in February, according to the Center for Disease Control.

“When you get a flu vaccine, it takes two weeks to produce antibodies that can protect you,” Teresa Anderson, CDHD’s Health Director, said. “The time to take action is now, before we see numbers increase, which we expect them to do. Getting a flu vaccine now will provide protection during all your holiday activities. ”

Last week was National Influenza Vaccination Week, where you were encouraged to take the flu from “Wild to Mild” by getting vaccinated. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, including pregnant people and young children. Here are tips to avoiding the annual flu virus:

•Get a yearly flu vaccine. Everyone aged 6 months and older is eligible. If you are 65 and older, ask for a “High Dose” vaccine which will better protect you.
•Take precautions to help reduce the spread of germs including hand washing, limiting contact with others when you are sick and avoiding close contact with sick people.
•Take flu antiviral drugs if prescribed by a doctor.

Flu like symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle and body aches, fatigue and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. The flu vaccine helps significantly lessen the effects of the flu but does not prevent the flu entirely. 

CDHD provides no cost flu vaccines from 8 am – 5 pm Mondays – Thursdays and 8 am – 4:30 pm on Fridays. Please bring your insurance card as we will bill insurance, though no one will be turned away. Flu shots are also available at local pharmacies and doctor’s offices. For more information, log onto www.cdhd.ne.gov or call us at (308) 385-5175.