Nevada Among States with High Number of Flu Cases - 8 News NOW

Nevada Among States with High Number of Flu Cases

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LAS VEGAS -- Flu season is in full swing and states around the country are seeing increased activity including right here in southern Nevada.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states in the Midwest and two in the West, including Nevada, have the highest number of influenza cases.

The Southern Nevada Health District announced three more people died from the flu this week. In all, six people have died from the illness in Clark County.

Infants and the elderly are still the easiest target for the flu virus, doctors say their immune systems are typically very weak.

Last year, there were 10 reported flu-related deaths. January is still considered the early part of flu season and health officials expect more deaths.

Fever, chills, body aches and a hacking cough are symptoms of the flu.

Doctor Adelaida Aranas says people should see a doctor as soon as they suspect they may the flu. She advises not to let symptoms go past 24 to 48 hours. Two of her patients recently allowed their symptoms to go on for days and are now in the hospital.

"I have two cases of pneumonia that went to emergency room that got admitted for two to three days there," Dr. Aranas said, "Usually, when you get them early, they respond well but if they are late it will turn into pneumonia."

Maria Younce is infected with the influenza virus. Her son, Larry, waited outside the doctor's office afraid to enter a waiting room full of sick people.

"She has been coughing the last four days really bad to where she almost loses her voice now," Larry Younce, Jr. said. "We finally got here to the doctor, and hopefully, they get some medication for her to help her heal up."

Doctors waiting rooms around southern Nevada look very similar. The young and old are lined up, looking for relief.

Southern Nevada Health District epidemiologist Linh Nguyen says three people have died from the flu virus this week, bringing the total to six, which is only the beginning.

"We're not even seeing a severe flu season. This means we'll be seeing a lot more deaths. Unfortunately, it's normal," Nguyen said.

Nguyen says the health district can't give specifics on the patients who have died, but two of the people were between the ages of 19 and 44. One person was between the age of 45 and 65 and three people were 65 years and older.

Each person had an underlying health condition, which is why the SNHD is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus.

"What we really want to firmly stress is immunization," Nguyen said.

For information on flu vaccines, go to snhd.info.

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