Protecting Your Family from the Flu

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

RENO, NV - The country is facing its earliest and worst outbreak of the deadly flu virus in a decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 41 states are reporting cases. But here in Northern Nevada, we don't have a problem. And local health experts are hoping to keep it that way.

"I think he had his own touch of the flu," says Kim Glaster. The Sparks mother had a rough time taking care of her six-year-old son, Adam, during Winter Break.

"it was awful," says Glaster. "We were actually traveling while he got sick, so double whammy there."

"It was painful," remembers Adam.

The first-grader is all better now, but the flu is a big concern among local health experts.

"What many people don't realize is that seasonal influenza is the leading cause of illness, hospitalizations and deaths out of all the combined vaccine preventable diseases," says Lynnie Shore, RN. She's the immunization program coordinator at the Washoe County Health District.

She wants to stress to parents that it's not too late to get your kids vaccinated against the flu. In fact, they've been doing it at local schools with the help of Immunize Nevada.

"And we've given over 4,000 flu vaccinations since October," says Shore. "And we're planning on gearing up again this month to continue."

That may be part of the reason why our area hasn't seen a widespread outbreak, like so much of the nation.
However, the school district has had to deal with a nasty Norovirus outbreak.
Over Winter Break, crews disinfected each school. And the district is hoping that got rid of the viruses on campus.

"You know, when you want to break the viral chain of infection, there's nothing like time and separating all of the kids for a while," says Dana Balchunas, director of student health services for the Washoe County School District.

Now with each school in the district disinfected, officials are now in a wait and see mode. They'll be watching closely this week to see if the Norovirus is done taking its toll at area schools.


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