CREATED Jan. 8, 2013
Nebraska- The flu is spreading fast, including here in Nebraska. This year it will take more than hand washing to fight off the virus and it's not too late to protect your self and your family.
Doctors say everyone needs to get a flu shot. Its only January and the Douglas County health department reports nearly double the cases than all of last year. The dry weather has caused the virus to spread quickly nationwide. It's now becoming more severe in Nebraska and Iowa.
This year, two strains are circulating and the current vaccines should protect against both. Two deaths have already been reported in Lancaster county. One adult, and one child.
We asked a doctor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center what makes the flu deadly. "People who have mortality from the flu generally have underlying disease that make them more prone to complications." Doctor Mark Rupp says the most vulnerable people are the elderly. While he admits the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, he says it works nearly 80 percent of the time, working for most people.
It is not too late to get a flu shot and many pharmacies accept walk in patients. Doctors advise anyone over the age of 6 months to get a vaccine.