First case of seasonal flu identified in Lancaster County
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lancaster County started seasonal influenza surveillance on October 1 and confirmed to 10/11 NOW, it’s identified one case of influenza. Right now, surveillance is showing “very little” flu activity in the county, according to the health department.
That’s similar to the 2019-2020 flu season, which also saw one confirmed case at this time of the year, before numbers started ticking up in November. Last year’s flu season peaked between mid-December and mid-January, with the highest week being the week ending December 28, when more than 230 cases were identified.
10/11 NOW requested several years of influenza data from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, which said it’s seen 5,919 lab-confirmed cases of either Influenza A or Influenza B during the last five seasons.
|Flu Season||Confirmed Cases|
According to charts available on the city’s website, the health department stopped seasonal surveillance the week ending April 25, 2020, after the last lab-confirmed cases were identified during the week ending March 28, 2020.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department also released data on flu-related deaths dating back to 2005. It shows in eight of the last 14 years, the number of flu-related deaths was five or fewer. The peak was in 2015 and 2018, when LLCHD identified 14 cases of flu-related deaths. If the number was less than five, the specific number wasn’t listed in the data provided by LLCHD, however, it was counted toward the total.
|Year||Flu Related Deaths|
**<=5 indicates small numbers. According to LLCHD, 2019 data still being confirmed
According to the information provided by LLCHD, there were 74 confirmed flu-related deaths in Lancaster County over a 15-year stretch from 2005-2019 or about five per year.
For comparison, as of October 26, Lancaster County has identified 8,979 cases of COVID-19 and 43 COVID-19 related fatalities. The first such case was identified in mid-March. The first COVID-19 related fatality was in early April.
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