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First case of seasonal flu identified in Lancaster County

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Lancaster County began seasonal flu surveillance on October 1 and confirmed on 10/11 NOW it has identified one case of the flu. At present, surveillance shows “very little” influenza activity in the county, according to the health department.

It’s similar to the 2019-20 flu season, which also saw a confirmed case around this time of year, before the numbers started to rise in November. Last year’s influenza season peaked between mid-December and mid-January, the highest week being the week ending December 28, when more than 230 cases were identified.

10/11 NOW has requested several years of influenza data from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, which said it has seen 5,919 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza A or influenza B in the past five seasons .

Flu seasonConfirmed cases
2015-2016465
2016-20171 104
2017-20181 431
2018-20191 205
2019-20201 714
Total5 919
Average1 184

According to graphics available on the city’s website, the health department stopped seasonal surveillance the week ending April 25, 2020, after the last laboratory-confirmed cases were identified in the week ending April 28. March 2020.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department also released data on flu-related deaths going back to 2005. It shows that in eight of the past 14 years, the number of flu-related deaths was five or less . The peak occurred in 2015 and 2018, when the LLCHD identified 14 cases of influenza-related deaths. If the number was less than five, the specific number was not included in the data provided by LLCHD, but it was counted in the total.

YearInfluenza-related deaths
2005
2006
20070
20086
2009
20100
2011
2012
2013
2014
201514
2016
2017dix
201814
20197
Total74
Average4,9

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According to information provided by LLCHD, there were 74 confirmed flu-related deaths in Lancaster County over a 15-year period from 2005 to 2019, or about five per year.

For comparison, as of October 26, Lancaster County has identified 8,979 cases of COVID-19-related deaths and 43 COVID-19-related deaths. The first such case was identified in mid-March. The first death related to COVID-19 occurred in early April.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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