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Health district reports flu hospitalizations, urges vaccination

Updated December 3, 2021 - 7:41 pm

The Southern Nevada Health District on Friday reported seven confirmed hospitalized cases of flu in Clark County, with more cases expected as the holiday season continues.

Flu activity has been minimal so far in Clark County and across the U.S., though many health authorities believe that cases this season could be higher than last season.

The Southern Nevada Health District reported six flu deaths and 50 hospitalizations last flu season, the low numbers likely due to COVID-19 mitigation measures such as mask-wearing, remote work and school, and social distancing, the district said in a news release.

But this season “could become more active since many of these activities have been eased as businesses and schools are reopened,” according to the district.

The health district reported 59 flu deaths and 1,481 hospitalizations in Clark County during the 2019-2020 flu season.

It is encouraging shots for those 6 months and older, while noting that they can be administered at the same time as COVID-19 vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that flu vaccination prevented approximately 7.5 million flu illnesses, 3.7 million flu-associated medical visits, 105,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths during the 2019-2020 flu season in the U.S.

“Flu season is always unpredictable with regard to how severe it is and the number of illnesses it causes,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, district health officer. “There’s still plenty of time to get vaccinated before the holidays.”

Next week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, which Leguen said is “the perfect time to remind Southern Nevadans about the importance of getting vaccinated, especially for people who are older or have medical conditions that put them at a higher risk for serious illness.”

The Health District offers flu vaccine at its public health centers Monday through Friday. Walk-in clients are accepted at its 280 S. Decatur Blvd. immunization clinic. Appointments are required at the health district’s other clinic locations. For more information, call the Immunization Clinic at (702) 759-0850 or visit the Flu Vaccine Clinic page at https://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/.

Contact Mary Hynes at mhynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.

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