Flu deaths reported in Vegas area more than double last year - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Flu deaths reported in Vegas area more than double last year

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The logo for the Southern Nevada Health District. (File) The logo for the Southern Nevada Health District. (File)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5/AP) -

Health officials in Las Vegas reported a jump in the number of flu cases, deaths and hospitalizations this year compared with last year.

The Southern Nevada Health District reported Monday that 48 people have died of flu this season, and that of the 1,291 cases reported so far, 940 people were hospitalized.

Those numbers were more than double the figures reported in the same week last April, with 13 people dead, 598 cases reported and 416 people hospitalized.

The health district said the local numbers reflect a national trend, with one strain of flu peaking this year in early Feb. and a second strain more common in March.

Dr. Michael Johnson of the Southern Nevada Health District said this flu season has been one of the worst.

“This season, the H3N2 influenza A virus was particularly resistant so it was a much more severe strain,” Dr. Johnson said.

A severe strain that’s resistant to the vaccine and leaving even those with flu shots at risk.

“I had a touch of it, it wasn't real bad, but I got my flu shot,” Las Vegas resident Candi Folkerson said, “[I had] chills hot flashes and body aches like you wouldn’t believe.”

She said the experience was miserable, but she knows things could have been worse.

“Oh my gosh, that's scary, very, very scary,” Folkerson said.

While the resistant strain, influenza A has been reported less lately, doctors said there's still a risk of getting influenza B through May.

Dr. Johnson said the CDC is already hard at work developing the vaccine for next flu season. He said he and other medical professionals are hoping next year’s strain is much less resistant to the vaccine.

The district said that 42 of the 48 deaths reported this year in Clark County have been people over age 50.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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