Flu cases still few and far between

Only a few scattered cases of influenza have been reported so far around the state and nation, as public health officials continue to remind people to get flu shots. Deb Scholten, director of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne, says the flu vaccine for the shot is developed months ahead of the season, so it’s not always a one-hundred percent match. Scholten says, “It’s always an educated guess when they come up with incubating the virus so they can make the vaccine but so far, it’s a good sign that we haven’t seen influenza yet, to any great numbers.”

Scholten says the Centers for Disease Control is working with the state and county health departments to make flu vaccines more effective each year. She says, “We talk to our schools once a week and our hospitals once a week so that we know how many influenza-like illnesses they see,” and the numbers are submitted to the state and then on to the C-D-C.

Some people don’t want their kids vaccinated because of fears it will cause harm. Scholten says not vaccinating kids could lead to more disease, not less. She says some people fear there’s a link between autism and flu shots but Shoulten says the C-D-C strongly disagrees, saying there’s no link — to the contrary — if children aren’t immunized, diseases like polio, diphtheria and pertussis will make a return.

Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton