Flu cases continue to spike in Washoe County

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Seven people have died from influenza in Washoe County so far this flu season, the Washoe District Health Department reported Thursday. That’s two more than a week ago.

There also have been 2,323 confirmed cases, about double what the health department reported a week ago.

Although this year’s vaccine has not proven as effective to battle the flu as that of prior years, Randall Todd, director of epidemiology and public health preparedness for the health department, recommends people still get the vaccine.

"You've had the vaccine, but you still get the flu. But you are less likely to be hospitalized. If you are hospitalized you are less likely to have to go into intensive care, and you are less likely to die," Todd said.

Getting the vaccine also means you are less likely to spread the disease to someone who could suffer the worst effects of influenza.

Other tips: Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth with the upper sleeve when coughing and stay home when you're sick as good preventative measures.

Nationally, the number of states reporting high flue activity increased from 21 to 26, the health department reported.