LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Southern Nevada Health District released an updated report on local flu statistics that revealed no deaths and fewer cases. Precautions related to the coronavirus are playing a part, as well as the time of year.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines an epidemic is when we exceed more than 7.5% deaths. We have clearly not seen that this particular year,” said Dr. David Weismiller, a professor in UNLV’s Department of Family Community Medicine.
Weismiller said there are a few reasons as to why this is the case. The first is the number of flu deaths are not higher, and the second is we’re getting close to the end of flu season.
“With all the discussion concerns about coronavirus, individuals are probably looking out for themselves a bit more,” suggested Weismiller.
This means, people are staying proactive.
“We’ve seen less large crowds as things have been canceled, and people are clearly getting the message that they should be using hand sanitizers and washing their hands.”
Weismiller also said many got a flu shot.
For the week ending Feb. 29, the Health District reported a decline of flu-related visits to emergency rooms.
Stephanie Bethel of SNHD’s office of communications said in a statement, “Because we are still in flu season, we encourage people to get their flu shots and to practice good hygiene.”
“I’m optimistic given this point, and the trajectory that we’ve seen nationally in terms of the flu season coming to an end that we’re probably going to stay well below 40,” concluded Weismiller.
He said right now, the CDC is only recommending flu shots for those over the age of 65. But as we look forward to the 2021 flu season, experts recommend being immunized before Oct. 30.