ST. GEORGE – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department confirmed Monday that three influenza-related deaths occurred in the southwest district during the past two weeks. All three were under the age of 65. These are the first flu deaths reported in the area for the 2013-14 flu season. By comparison, one death was reported during the 2012-13 season for the five-county area served by the SWUPHD.
“We have now had 46 people hospitalized from the flu this season,” said Lisa Starr, SWUPHD surveillance nurse. “Their ages range from infants to the elderly, but nearly all of them tested positive for the H1N1 flu strain, which caused the 2009 pandemic.”
The Centers for Disease Control is reporting widespread flu activity throughout the United States. Most cases are H1N1 and over 60 percent of hospitalizations involve people under the age of 65, a pattern similar to the 2009 pandemic.
“We urge people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already,” Starr said. “This year’s vaccine includes protection against H1N1 and is still available.”
Flu vaccine is available at the following SWUPHD clinics:
St. George: 620 S. 400 E., third level walk-in, 435-673-3528
Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays 1 – 5 p.m.
Every other Friday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., starting Jan. 24
Cedar City: 260 E. DL Sargent Drive, walk-in 435-586-2437
Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays 1 – 4:30 p.m.
Fridays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Kanab: 445 North Main
Call 435-644-2537 for appointment
Beaver: 75 W. 1175 N.
Call 435-438-2482 for appointment
Panguitch: 601 East Center
Call 435-676-8800 for appointment
Submitted by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department