Flu deaths ramp up across the country and in Nevada


It’s a startling statistic — one out of every 10 deaths in the U.S. right now is caused by the flu and pneumonia.

According to the CDC, the rate of flu-related hospitalizations is approaching the highest amount on record.

Closer to home, local hospitals are crowded with flu patients. The number of hospitalizations have more than doubled compared to the same time last year.

Wearing masks, Charibed Perez is taking her children home after getting them tested for the flu at Univeristy Medical Center.

For the past few days, her two young kids have been fighting a fever and a cough. She is getting them tested as an extra precaution. Her children are already under medical treatment.

Meanwhile, inside the hospital, the signs are everywhere advising patients and visitors to practice good hygiene.

Stations with hand sanitizer and face masks can be found all around UMC.

“The patients as well as the parents and also all providers, before they go in and out of rooms, they’re suppose to gel in and gel out,” said Dr. Jay Fisher, medical director, pediatric ER, UMC.

Keeping the hospital clean is crucial to preventing transmission of the influenza virus, especially with flu season in full gear.

“We typically see a bump of about 30 percent of our daily volume and that’s been running true again this year, perhaps a little bit worse,” Dr. Fisher said.

He is the medical director at UMC’s pediatric emergency room and says he and his team rely on environmental services to keep the hospital in tip top shape.

“They walk the line between having to have a potent product and also having keep patients safe, as well. But they stay on top of that. We actually recently got disposable curtains for the hospital.”

A sea of red shows just how widespread the flu is across the country. Only a handful of states are not seeing high activity. Nevada is not among them.

But lucky for Perez, her children won’t become a statistic. Their test results came back negative for the flu.

They will just have to ride out the symptoms from a common cold.

“Ya men senti mas tranquila (I feel more at peace),” Perez said.

The Southern Nevada Health District has 22 flu-deaths on record. The majority are people 65 years and older. But last week the virus claimed the life of a 24-year-old mother.

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