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SNHD: 2 new flu deaths bring season total to 26

Posted: 11:21 AM, Feb 12, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-17 12:52:51-05
Flu season off to slower start this year

UPDATE FEB. 17: The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting 2 new flu deaths in Clark County during the week of Feb. 2-8. That brings the total to 26 for the current flu season.

One of the deaths occurred in the 50-64 age group and the other occured in the 65+ age group. There were 21 flue deaths at this same time last year.

ORIGINAL STORY
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- Almost a dozen people died from the flu in Southern Nevada during the last week in January, the Southern Nevada Health District reports.

SNHD records show from Jan. 26 through Feb. 1 there were 11 more deaths caused by the flu than the week prior. That brings the total number of deaths in the region to 24 for the season.

Most of the deaths, 16 total, were people 65 years old and above.

The second highest category were people between 50-64 years old, with three deaths in that age range.

RELATED: What to know about the 2020 flu season

The records show one death was a child between 0-4 years old.

The agency also reports there were 205 flu-related hospitalizations that week, with 1,033 hospitalizations total for the season.

13 Action News asked local doctors what you need to know about the current flu season.

Dr. Christina Madison says don't be alarmed by these numbers. Instead, be informed.

"11 obviously is a lot of people but I do want to make sure that the viewers know that vaccination is still available, preventative care measures can be taken."

Dr. Madison has a warning for senior citizens and people with health issues.

"Those who have diabetes, heart disease, people who are obese, respiratory problems. Those are the individuals who really should be vaccinated."

But what makes this flu season seem worse? Latest data from SNHD shows flu hospitalizations more than doubled this year compared to around this time last year.

If you're one of thousands who already had the flu and relapsed days or even weeks later, Dr. Madison says this could be why.

"At the beginning of the season we saw a lot of influenza b cases which now we're seeing influenza a as far as the circulating strain. So really all that means is that the one that's likely to cause illnesses and diseases and potentially hospitalizations and death which is influenza a that's the one we're seeing more frequently."

It's important to recognize the symptoms. The flu is often confused with the cold.

"With influenza it's a very rapid onset so you could go to work, feel fine and go to bed and wake up feeling terrible... Hallmark sign is usually fever, body aches, and chills... when you look at colds. It's usually progressive over a few days. You start to feel unwell and maybe by the second or third day you're really starting to not feel good."

With a cold you usually have runny nose. You may or may not have a fever and a cough.

To protect yourself from the flu doctors and the SNHD recommends you get a flu vaccine. To learn more about flu prevention visit SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict.org.