Positive flu tests rise sharply in Nebraska
The number of positive flu tests has risen substantially in the State of Nebraska, climbing 36.84 percent, according to the latest Department of Health and Human Services Influenza report.
According to the flu report for the week of December 15 – December 21, the number of positive influenza tests in the state rose to 1,449, up from roughly 815 the week before.
The state as a whole is listed under the "widespread" category.
Bryan East Emergency Dept. assistant manager Dan Benson said, "In the last few days, we've been seeing lots of flu-like symptoms. Body aches, fevers, coughs; runny nose and congestion. Especially yesterday we probably saw 30 to 40 cases alone of just those symptoms."
The number of positive Influenza A tests was recorded at 1,035, and the number of positive Influenza B tests was 414.
Benson said flu-like symptoms are hitting Nebraskans quickly this year.
"Since its hitting Nebraska so fast, I think its just more people being dehydrated and weak so they're just coming in," Benson said.
CHI Health said there is another strain of flu they're seeing called like-illness. This is when people have small symptoms of flu or other illness with similar symptoms.
Influenza-related deaths remained at “at least one”, with the average age listed at 85 years old.
A confirmed flu death was reported out of Douglas County on Dec. 23.
In addition, nine “influenza and other respiratory disease outbreaks” have been reported, and 20 schools have reported absences over 11 percent due to the flu.