A respiratory influenza is active in Otoe County, but the Southeast District Health Department says it is not too late to get a flu shot.
In addition to the shot, which costs about $30, Kay Oestmann of the health district urges hand washing and social isolation to prevent the spread of the the virus.
Respiratory influenza is active in Otoe County, but Kay Oestmann of the Southeast District Health Department says it's not too late to get a flu shot.
It takes two weeks for the shot to become fully effective, but it will provide some benefit the very first day it is administered.
The health department tracks influenza with a daily census including schools, nursing homes and day cares.
"Otoe County has the flu," Oestmann said. "We've seen a significant amount of cases in Otoe County over the last couple of weeks. Usually we see the flue in February and March, so it has come earlier this year," she said.
She said the flu shot is 62 percent effective this year. It is developed by observing influenza outbreaks on the other side of the world and Oestmann said the strains were accurately predicted this year.
She said people with the flu should stay home and not go into the public until 48 hours after the fever stops. She said people should expect symptoms for four to five days.
Oestmann said prevention is still her emphasis.
"Handwashing prevents 99 percent of all disease," she said.
An intestinal flu came through the area earlier this year. The current influenza strain is associated with fever, chills, aches and pain, coughs and sneezing.