Syracuse health representative says influenza virus beginning to “ramp up” in Nebraska

SYRACUSE – There’s been an increase in influenza activity throughout Nebraska over the last week, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are beginning to hear of closures at schools, child care centers and nursing homes due to outbreaks,” Syracuse Area Health Director of Quality & Compliance Donna Armknecht said. “Nebraska health care providers should continue to aggressively vaccinate those who have yet to receive this year’s influenza vaccine, and prescribe antivirals and general infection control measures to those who develop symptoms.”

Armknecht says influenza vaccination is especially a high priority for pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes.

NEED TO KNOW:

>> Flu can make chronic health problems, like diabetes, worse. The illness can make it harder to control blood sugar. It might raise sugar, but sometimes people don’t feel like eating when they are sick and this can cause blood sugar levels to fall.

>> Flu vaccination also has been associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%), including hospitalization for diabetes without mention of complications, diabetic coma, and ketoacidosis.

> People with diabetes should ask their family & friends to get a flu vaccine as well to help reduce their chances of getting sick from flu illness.

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