Health Officials Urge Vigilance Against Flu Virus - 8 News NOW

Health Officials Urge Vigilance Against Flu Virus

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LAS VEGAS - The flu virus has killed 18 children and hospitalized more than 2,000 people around the nation. Las Vegas health officials are encouraging vulnerable residents to get their flu shots.

Doctors say a flu shot is the best way to safeguard against the virus. The early flu season started in the Gulf Coast states and has spread around the country.

Find Flu Shot Locations Around the Valley

So far, Las Vegas health officials have seen an average flu season, but they are encouraging people to take steps to protect themselves from the virus.

Washing your hands, staying home when you're sick and covering your mouth when you cough can all help prevent the spread of influenza.

The good news is the strains that are being passed around are not uncommon.

"The strains they have tested have all matched up very well with what's in the vaccine," said Southern Nevada Health District epidemiologist Brian Labus. "So this year, the vaccine provides very good protection, and we're seeing the strains that we expected to see circulate this year."

Children and elderly people are the most susceptible to the flu, because they have the weakest immune systems.

Clark County School District nurses want parents to take your children out of school and let them rest if they contract the virus. Symptoms are very similar to those of common colds.

"A lot of times, if a person has a fever, they just don't feel well," said CCSD Director of Health Services Diana Taylor. "If a child is listless, coughing, nose is running, throat hurts, those are all signs and symptoms of a flu with a respiratory origin."

The Clark County School District is also taking steps to prevent the spread of the flu. CCSD officials say they are planning to hold flu shot clinics with the Southern Nevada Health District.

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