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Panhandle flu cases up, severity down with only two deaths reported

Panhandle flu cases up, severity down with only two deaths reported

The flu season in the Panhandle has been a mixed bag this year for residents, but hopefully the worst is behind us.

Scotts Bluff County Health Director Paulette Schnell says two elderly Panhandle residents have died from the flu, including one in Scotts Bluff County last month.

Schnell tells KNEB News despite those flu-related deaths, this season hasn’t been quite as severe as the past even though the number of cases is up. “We’ve had less hospitalization, and less numbers of death caused by flu this year”, says Schnell. “So it’s out there, a lot of people are catching it, but they’re not getting as sick. Part of that, we hope, is that people are getting vaccinated and it’s keeping them from those hospitalizations and being as severe.”

Schnell says it appears we may have peaked in the rate of new influenza cases over the past couple of months, but if someone wants to get vaccinated against the illness they still can.

However, Schnell says those seeking the flu shot might have to check around, as a number of health providers exhausted their supplies of the vaccine in January and February.

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