LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Hospitalizations involving patients with the flu have more than doubled over the past week in Nevada.
A report from the Nevada Hospital Association shows 92 patients with the flu as of this week, compared to 40 patients last week. An update from the Southern Nevada Health District is not yet available. SNHD’s last update includes cases reported up to Nov. 12.
Type A influenza accounts for 82% of the reported cases, NHA said.
Despite increases in flu, RSV and continuing COVID-19 cases, hospitals aren’t under a strain from adult patients. Hospitals are at 71% capacity overall, and 74% capacity in intensive care units.
But pediatric wards are another story. Beds are full across the state and overflowing at 103% occupancy. Hospitals have had to use adult care beds for some older kids who are admitted for pediatric care. Pediatric ICU beds are full, and the situation is getting worse in Northern Nevada after a hospital stopped offering pediatric and neonatal ICU services.
“Staffing has been increased to an alert level as pediatric‐trained nurses are difficult to hire, and the demand is increasing,” NHA reports. “Additionally, some pediatric nurses are reportedly leaving their current positions to take lucrative traveling nurse positions.”
Flu shots are recommended, but it’s a little late to prevent an illness due to exposure over the Thanksgiving weekend.
SNHD advises taking care through the holidays as respiratory diseases continue to pose a threat. In a Nov. 16 news release, SNHD Health Officer Dr. Fermin Leguen said, “With the triple threat of seasonal flu, COVID-19 and RSV looming, we’re advising people to get their flu vaccine and updated COVID-19 boosters before their Thanksgiving get-togethers.” He notes that it takes about two weeks for any of the vaccines to provide full protection.