Health District reports 2 flu deaths in Clark County as cases increase

Southern Nevada Health District reported its first flu deaths of the season.
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 12:10 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Southern Nevada Health District reported its first flu deaths of the season.

Two Clark County residents, a woman in her 40s and a woman in her 60s, died in November from flu complications, SNHD said.

“These deaths are a tragedy, and I offer my condolences to the families and friends of these women,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, District Health Officer for SNHD.

The deaths come as SNHD reports that flu cases are on the rise in Clark County. SNHD said there were 67 flu-related hospitalizations for the week of Nov. 13-19, a 72% increase from the week before. SNHD said it comes as there is an increase in the emergency department and urgent care visits for flu-like illnesses.

Flu shots are recommended for everyone 6 months and older. Older and younger populations, people with underlying medical conditions and pregnant people are at higher risk for severe flu illness.

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice for Roseman University of Health Sciences Christina Madison said when you start experiencing symptoms it is important to get tested right away.

“When we think about people who are being outpatients not requiring hospitalization,” said Madison. “Those individuals need to seek care as soon as possible. There are only a handful of medications that we currently have available to reduce the course of illness of your infection.”

Madison also mentioned it is especially important for those testing positive for one specific strain to get access to those medications.

“So influenza A is typically the one we are most concerned about causing disease illness, hospitalization and death and unfortunately right now we are seeing more instances of influenza A than we are in influenza B,” said Madison.

SNHD recommends the following measures during the winter as respiratory illnesses increase:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home when sick and limiting contact with others. For flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone, without the use of fever-reducing medicine.) COVID guidance is available here.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue away after using it.
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and running water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Taking a COVID-19 test. People who develop flu-like symptoms should take a COVID-19 test, especially if they have underlying conditions that put them more at risk for severe illness or hospitalization from flu or COVID.
  • Taking flu antiviral drugs if prescribed by a doctor.