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 .
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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.
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.
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