Child dies of flu in Central Nebraska

Child dies of flu in Central Nebraska
Posted at 7:05 PM, Jan 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-23 22:23:41-05

Nebraska state health officials say they have received a report of a young child dying of the flu. 

A state health official said the girl had no known pre-disposing risk factors. 

The Twin River Kindergarten in Genoa posted a two photos and message Sunday on it's Facebook page announcing Lily Kershaw's death.  The message reads:  Heaven gained a BEAUTIFUL angel this morning. Lily Kershaw passed away this morning due to complications with influenza. Lily was a smart, kind, and loving little girl. She had a passion for learning and always shared her big smile or a hug with anyone in need of one. Please keep the Kershaw family in your thoughts and prayers.

Experts remind people that the flu can prove dangerous for all ages although the elderly and young are more likely to have complications from the flu. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services offers these resources to determine if you have the flu. 

This year's flu season ranks among the most severe in recent years.

DHHS offered more information regarding the flu in a news release:

Nationally, 30 children have died from flu this season according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While most children recover from the flu, some can have severe and sometimes fatal infections, but that has been rare in Nebraska. So far, there have been a total of 22 flu-related deaths statewide - 21 adults and one child.

Antiviral drugs like Tamiflu, prescribed by a health care provider, should be used as early as possible in people who have flu-like illness. 
Protect yourself from the flu by:
  • Washing your hands often
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home from work, family gatherings and social functions if you’re sick
  • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands
  • Eating healthy and get plenty of rest
  • Don’t smoke
Vaccination plays a critical role in the fight against the flu. It can reduce flu-related illnesses, visits to the doctor, missed work and school and flu-related hospitalizations.
The CDC recommends flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.