Flu claims the life of Beatrice boy

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BEATRICE, Neb. -- A Beatrice family is mourning the loss of their 12-year-old son. Draven Findeis passed away Wednesday from flu complications.

According to his obituary, Draven had shown signs of the flu and was being treated at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. He was a 6th grader at Beatrice Middle School.

Instead of memorials, the family is asking for people to get a flu shot in memory of their son.

Draven's family says he was an avid artist and reader who also enjoyed video games, Lego, cartoons, super heroes, music, drawing, comic books and Taco Bell.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said they did receive a report of a child flu-related death in southeastern Nebraska.

Earlier this month, DHHS reported two people over the age of 65 died of the flu and said flu activity was slowly increasing across the state.

“Flu can be a life-threatening disease for some people and it can make any of us sick. All it takes is getting the flu once and you have a whole new appreciation of its health importance,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist with DHHS. “Flu vaccine is our best protection against the flu and it’s recommended for everyone 6 months and older.”

DHHS says certain people are at greater risk for serious complications and it’s "extremely important" they receive vaccine:

  • Young children
  • Adults 65 years of age or older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with chronic lung disease (like asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions and certain other long-term health conditions
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities