For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
The Washoe County Health District is reporting the second flu-related death of the 2016/17 flu season in Washoe County, just one day after confirming the season’s first fatality. According to health officials the victim was an elderly individual over 65 years-old with no reported contributing health concerns. Two common factors in these cases are that both were infected by influenza A, and both cases deteriorated quickly between the time of onset and the time of death. These two cases appear not to be related based on existing information.
“I know the community may be concerned about the severity of this flu season because of these flu-related deaths being reported so early in the flu season,” said Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “These unfortunate circumstances, however, highlight the importance of getting vaccinated to protect yourself and others from catching the flu. Everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated against this serious disease,” Dick said.
In addition to getting vaccinated, Dick also pointed to the importance of knowing the symptoms of flu and seeking treatment if needed. According to Dick, the flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever or feeling feverish/chills; coughing; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; muscle or body aches; headaches; fatigue; and sometimes, vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. If you or someone you know is suffering some of these symptoms they should consider medical attention especially if they are at high risk of complications. Those include children under five years-old, adults 65 years-old or older, pregnant women, and persons with pre-existing medical conditions.
If you do get sick take the following steps:
- Take antivirals drugs, if prescribed by a doctor.
- Keep your distance from others - stay home from work, school, and errands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or cough or sneeze into your sleeve. This may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Wash your hands often to 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 a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her 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.
For more information on influenza activity visit the CDC’s website at: www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.
For information about flu shots, clinic locations and events visit Immunize Nevada’s website at: www.immunizenevada.org/community/where-go.