Newsroom > DHHS News Release

November 10, 2011

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356

First Flu Case Reported to DHHS

All Surveillance Systems Go
Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at:
Lincoln – Nebraska has its first case of flu for the season, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Lab tests confirmed influenza A in a Douglas County man in his 30s who had traveled outside the U.S.

“There’s only one direction flu activity will go and that’s up,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Nebraska’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. “Now is the time to get your flu vaccine if you haven’t already. Remember, getting vaccinated not only protects you, but your family, friends and coworkers.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
While flu can make anyone sick, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications, and it’s extremely important they receive vaccine: 
  • Young children
  • Older people
  • People with chronic lung disease (like asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions and certain other long-term health conditions
  • Pregnant women
Flu vaccine is safe, effective and rigorously tested. Remember, it’s a myth that you can get flu from the shot. The most common reaction is soreness and redness at the injection site. If you don’t like needles, FluMist is a nasal spray available for healthy people 2-49 years old.

DHHS officially started flu surveillance Oct. 2. Surveillance shows where the flu is and how fast it’s spreading across the state.

DHHS uses multiple surveillance systems to track flu viruses, including sentinel physicians who report the number of people with flu-like illness weekly, lab tests, school surveillance, hospital data, emergency department data and death reporting.

For more flu information, visit the DHHS website at