RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — The Washoe County Health District is reporting the first flu-related death of the 2018/19 flu season in Washoe County.
According to the health district, the victim was over 65 years old and at risk for flu-related complications due to underlying medical conditions in addition to their advanced age. I
It does not appear that the individual had been vaccinated this year for the flu.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to this and any family that is tragically impacted by a hospitalization or death associated with the flu,” said Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “Flu is a serious virus that can be fatal, so people must take every precaution to prevent getting sick. The best way to avoid the flu is to get a flu shot. It’s quick and easy, and vaccine is available at locations throughout the community.” Dick said.
Everyone 6 months of age and older is recommended to get an annual flu shot.
Those at especially high-risk for complications from the flu are children under five years-old, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and persons with certain medical conditions including chronic lung disease, heart disease, and diabetes.
It takes between one and two weeks after a flu shot for the vaccine to reach its optimum protection level.
However, there are also other preventive measures everyone should practice all the time to prevent the flu and other illnesses. Those steps include:
Influenza killed about 80,000 people in the 2017-2018 season, according to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The previous high for a regular flu season, based on analyses dating back more than three decades, was 56,000 deaths.
A summary of last year’s flu activity can be found at: www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm
For information about flu shots, clinic locations and events visit Immunize Nevada’s website at: https://www.immunizenevada.org/community/where-go.