A large increase in the number of influenza cases in Churchill County has occurred since the last week of November, reports the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.
As a result of the number of flu cases, Banner Churchill Community Hospital will offer a free flu vaccine clinic this week from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday for people 6 months and older. Vaccines will be available on a first-come first-served basis.
According to the division of health, Churchill County has had more than 61 cases of influenza in this flu season, almost of it occurring within a two-week period. Furthermore, the division said Churchill County has not experienced such a large influx of flu cases within such a short period of time since 2009.
Other options for residents include seeing their own physician or the Community Health Nurse.
People who have the flu often feel some or all these signs or symptoms: fever/feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle/body aches, headaches, very tired, and some people may have vomiting or diarrhea. The health division said the flu viruses spread when people who have the flu cough, sneeze or talk.
Most people who come down with the flu have it from a few days to a week or two. The division of health, though, stated some people can develop complications that could be life-threatening or result in death
The division of health said certain people are at greater risk for serious complications including older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.
According to a statement from Immunize Nevada, flu season typically starts in the fall and peaks in January or February. Each year, an estimated 20 percent of the U.S. population gets flu with more than 200,000 people finding themselves hospitalized, missing work and unable to recover quickly.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that flu kills between 3,000 and 49,000 people each year, including many young, perfectly healthy people. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an annual flu vaccine; it is the single best defense against this serious disease.