As of Tuesday, Douglas County reports more than 800 influenza cases, which is on pace for about 1,100 — the highest total for January in six years. According to a Jan. 19 state report, 3,800 people have tested positive for the flu this season — 25 percent of them during the week of Jan. 7-13.
Local pediatricians say the uptick could be because the flu shot covers about 60 percent of strains.
"Some of it is the strains of flu that are circulating and certainly this year there are some strains that have evolved that aren't in the flu vaccine," said Dr. Greg Penny with Boys Town Pediatrics. "So, we're starting to see some cases some breakthrough cases in the vaccinated population."
Dr. Penny said it's not too late to get a flu shot, and recommends making sure you and your children wash hands frequently.
Flu can be deadly, particularly for children and the elderly. The most recent DHHS report states 21 influenza-associated deaths have occurred among adults this season.
Among the state's youngest flu victims was 5-year-old Lily Kershaw of Silver Creek, who died Jan. 21.