Two children's deaths linked to flu, Douglas County Health Department confirms

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) -- The Douglas County Health Department on Friday confirmed two children have died from flu-related causes this season.


A release from the health department confirmed two "pediatric deaths," meaning the children were ages 18 years old or younger.

The two are the third and fourth cases of flu deaths in the county. The first two were reported to be older than age 65; the first died Dec. 23, and the second died Dec. 30.

Friday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control reported at least 4,800 flu deaths nationwide — including 32 children — this season. Nebraska had reported five flu-related deaths this season, with an average age of 84, as of Dec. 28.

The most recent Douglas County report states the county has had 3,758 confirmed cases of flu this season, the release states. An update on that report is due next week.

According to the Nebraska report, pediatric deaths associated with influenza are required to be reported, but such adult deaths are voluntary — and highly encouraged by the DHHS to help determine the severity of the current virus.

The flu season runs through April, according to the release.

The CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older get a flu shot, particularly those ages 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with a chronic disease. The vaccine takes two weeks to become effective, the release states.

"It is especially important for anyone who will be around children to be vaccinated, and if you are sick, to avoid contact with those children who are too young to receive the vaccine," the release states.

CORRECTION: An initial report incorrectly reported the age range of the most recent flu deaths. 6 News regrets the error.