LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention revealed this flu season is turning out to be one of the worst in decades. At least 2,900 in the United States are estimated to have died from the flu. So, how bad is the illness affecting Nevada?
Flu season starts as early as October and can last as late as April. It’s even pushed into May some years. We’re in the middle of the current season, and data tracking shows Nevada is one of the few states avoiding the outbreak.
“This year, it hit me hard with my family. The whole family was actually sick,” said Valley resident Criselda Vierra.
Southern Nevada Health District Medical Investigator Vit Kraushaar said hundreds of thousands of people get sick from the flu every year, and millions of patients die worldwide.
Kraushaar said compared to years past, most of the cases this season were in early November.
“In the beginning of the flu season at least, we did see higher number of cases than the past two flu seasons,” he said. But now, “We’re seeing cases in December slow down a little bit.”
Kraushaar noted the number of deaths we saw last year was eight, which is about the same as this year. He recommended people take the flu seriously, urging those who haven’t gotten their flu shot to go get one.
So far, six flu deaths have been reported in Southern Nevada. Kraushaar said while the flu vaccination is not perfect, it’s still the best method of defense.
“I haven’t gotten a flu shot for many years now,” said Valley resident Carla Harleton, “but if I’m hospitalized or somewhere where there’s sick people, yes.”
According to Kraushaar, the places where the illness is most common are “in close spaces in homes, in classrooms. Those are times where it’s much easier for the flu to spread.”
Vierra is worried especially now that her children have started school again.
“Ahh, getting sick in school, mostly the kids. I think that’s where my daughter gets sick from,” she said.
“The flu is unpredictable. Just because we haven’t seen as many cases as maybe some other parts of the country doesn’t mean that we can’t have a worst flu season,” noted Kraushaar.
The health district revealed this flu season has a greater number of Influenza B cases both in Clark County and across the nation. This is usually seen toward the end of the season.