UPDATED 12:30 p.m. Southwest Utah Public Health Department Public Information Officer David Heaton reports that only one case of influenza bad enough to have the person hospitalized has been reported in Washington County this year, and no deaths.
“Influenza activity in southwest Utah is low,” Heaton said, “although we are seeing high common cold and croup activity.”
ST. GEORGE — The Southern Nevada Health District Wednesday reported its first flu-related death in Clark County for the 2016-2017 season.
The man, over the age of 65, had been hospitalized for his flu-related illness, which he subsequently died of, according to a statement released by the Health District. Further details about the man were not released.
As the flu season typically peaks in January and February, officials are reminding the public that there is still time to receive a flu vaccine.
Influenza activity often begins to increase in October, and it takes about two weeks after vaccination for protection to set in.
While current U.S. flu activity is low overall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, localized influenza outbreaks have been reported. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
According to the CDC, there are several measures people can take to prevent influenza and other “germs” from spreading:
- Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when people touch something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
More information on influenza can be found online.
Ed. note: Viewpoints vary on the wisdom of vaccinations and immunization; analysis of the topic is beyond the scope of this report.
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