LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) — The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has reported the first influenza-associated deaths during the season.

According to the release, four people over the age 50 have died from flu-related illnesses which include:

  • One with influenza B.
  • Three with influenza A including one who also tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Resided in Two Rivers Public Health Department, Sarpy/Cass Health Department, and Douglas County Health Department.

DHHS advises people to get their annual flu vaccines in order to reduce illnesses.

“The flu can be a life-threatening disease for some, and can get anyone sick,” said Dr. Matthew Donahue, State Epidemiologist. “Influenza is now spreading throughout the State in addition to COVID-19. If you get sick, stay home. The most effective prevention measure for the flu is the flu vaccine.”

There are multiple locations where people can get a flu vaccine. To find a place offering vaccines, click here.

In addition to getting vaccinated, prevention measures can also protect against the flu:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze. Throw the used tissue in a wastebasket.
  • Practice non-pharmaceutical interventions If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
  • After coughing or sneezing, always clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, towels, or other personal items.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possible.