Flu season nears peak activity

Health News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Flu activity is still on the rise in our state as we near the peak of the season. The Southern Nevada Health District says six people have now died from the illness, and there have been more the 500 hospitalizations this season. 

On Friday federal health officials gave an update on the current flu season.

“We have to wait and see what happens in the coming weeks,” said Lynnette Brammer — Epidemiologist, Influenza Division, CDC.” “Even if we are at peak, we still have half the flu season to go. There may be other viruses circulating after the influenza bs that are here right now.”

That’s why health officials are urging it’s not too late to get a flu shot. This season got off to an early and unusual start, with flu “B” viruses dominating. Those viruses tend to affect children and usually aren’t seen until spring.

So far, there have been at least 6.4 million illnesses, 55,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths from flu.

“The hospitalizations and pneumonia and influenza mortality are not elevated right now,” Brammer said. “But that is what you would expect to see when you have a lot of children ill, and not a lot of elderly ill. 

A common respiratory virus known as “RSV” is also going around. RSV usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can be dangerous for infants and older adults.

The Gordon’s 4-week-old daughter has been in intensive care for more than week.

“I Started noticing her retracting really bad and her lips started turning blue, so I called an ambulance,” Mother Kathleen Gordon said.

More than two million children under five are diagnosed with the highly contagious virus each year, and it’s the number one cause of pneumonia in babies. Some children are at high risk for severe RSV disease, including premature infants and children with weakened immune systems.

With so many viruses out there this time of year, doctors say it’s critical to stay home when you are sick and wash your hands frequently.

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