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Rising flu cases in Southern Nevada cause concern for the summer

Posted at 7:14 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 16:16:00-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's the time of year when flu cases are typically dropping. However, according to the Southern Nevada Health District, numbers in the valley are high since late March.

Anna Binder knows this first hand, her household just had a run-in with the flu.

"We're seeing with humanity, everybody going back to doing things they did pre-pandemic. Which is predominately not washing their hands, not sneezing down into the elbow, or using a tissue," Binder said.

What was expected to be a moderately severe flu season this past winter, turned out to be even lower. That was a relief.

But then, things took a turn for the worse.

The CDC is reporting an uptick in flu cases. Health experts say the increase is a medical mystery. Ever since the COVID-19 virus hit worldwide, flu patterns have changed.

Theories such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and lower immunity due to less exposure are all possible.

Dr. Cassius Lockett, the Southern Nevada Health District director of disease surveillance & control explained, "We haven’t seen a late surge of the flu for decades in the United States. This late shift is not common. Influenza is destroyed by ultra-violet light and as you mentioned, it’s hot outside. What makes us similar to what occurs in winter months in other states, is that when it’s hot outside, people move indoors. Therefore, increasing their exposure to respiratory pathogens."

The health district reports so far, this flu season has resulted in 10 deaths and 383 hospitalizations. Something Binder and her family are doing everything they can to avoid.

"Try not to go in public if you’re not feeling well. If you are ill, wear your mask if you have to go to the store. Be respectful of other people. Just because your sick, other people don’t want to be sick," Binder said.

Since the flu is still making its presence known, it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine. The CDC has a list of recommendations for preventing the flu.