The Southern Nevada Health District has revealed that a young child and two adults have died from influenza so far this flu season in Clark County. They are also suggesting that people who haven’t received the flu vaccine should do so, particularly if they fall into vulnerable categories.
According to Fox 5 Las Vegas, Health District officials confirmed on Thursday that there had been three reported deaths accounted to this year’s flu season. A child in the 0-4 age group, as well as two adults in the 50-64 age group, have perished as a result of contracting the influenza virus. These are the first reported flu deaths for the current flu season.
In addition to these tragic deaths, there has been a total of 68 hospitalized influenza cases reported for the 2018-2019 flu season in the Southern Nevada Health District. Generally speaking, January and February are also usually considered the peak of the flu season. This means that it is possible that these figures could rise over the following weeks.
However, this flu season does seem to be milder compared to last year’s aggressive season which saw 330 people hospitalized for influenza. In addition, 60 people in Southern Nevada died as a result of last year’s flu strains. Of this, one casualty was a 12-year-old unvaccinated boy whose “parents have since decided to vaccinate their living children against the flu,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In addition, Dr. Mike Barnum, the ER assistant medical director for the Valley Hospital Medical Center, has revealed that this year’s strain of the flu is generally milder than what they saw last year.
“It may be that it’s just not a terribly virulent strain this year,” he said. “That would explain the fortunate lack of really severe complications and deaths.”
Regardless, Dr. Joe Iser, the Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District, is warning people that influenza is a serious illness that should still be taken seriously. He also stated that it’s not too late to get an annual flu shot to help protect against the deadly illness.
“These flu-related deaths are tragic reminders that influenza is a serious illness. Young children, older adults, and people with certain health conditions may be more at risk for complications. It is not too late to get vaccinated this season, and we want to remind everyone to get a flu shot and to practice healthy habits to protect yourself and your family.”
The Southern Nevada Health District has confirmed that flu vaccines are still available for those who haven’t received their flu shot yet for this season. However, those who are just now getting their flu shots need to be aware that it can take two weeks for the vaccine to become effective.