What you need to know about this flu season

Posted at 6:16 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 19:16:25-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Thursday the Douglas County Health Department announced the first pediatric death this flu season; and several adults in the county have also died this flu season. We still have a few months left in the season meaning more people could be affected.

An estimated 80,000 Americans died of the flu and its complications last Winter according to the CDC. Senior epidemiologist Anne O'Keefe with the Douglas County Health Department said this flu season could match last season's numbers.

There have been ten reported deaths in Douglas County so far this year compared to 23 deaths last year.

“It happens because the influenza virus slightly changes every year, so that it gets ahead of our immune systems which is why we need a different flu shot every year,” said O’Keefe.

Every flu season there are three or four strains that circulate. A couple strains of influenza A and B. Influenza A tends to be more severe.