RENO, Nev. (KOLO)-- Feb. 12 update: A fourth person in Washoe County has died from influenza, the Washoe County District Health Department reported.
Three other deaths are under investigation for potentially being flu-related.
"We highly recommend residents get a flu shot if you haven't already, wash your hands frequently, and stay home if you're sick," the health district said.
Original Dec. 20 story: Washoe County is having flu-like sickness at a rate higher than regional and national rates, the Washoe County District Health Department reported Friday.
As of Thursday there have been three influenza-associated deaths among Washoe County residents, the district reported, all among people 40 years old or younger. It reports 96 people have been hospitalized this flu season due to the flu.
The 2019-2020 flu season has had higher than usual reports of influenza-like-illness much earlier in the season than the previous four seasons. This season’s predominant strain has been Influenza B/Victoria, unlike most influenza seasons that experience higher activity due to Influenza A, the health district said.
Seasonal influenza in the United States has been elevated for five weeks and continues to increase. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates so far this season there have been at least 2.6 million flu illnesses and 1,300 deaths.
“We cannot overstate the importance of the flu shot,” Kevin Dick, Washoe County Health District officer, said in a statement. “If you find yourself feeling feverish or experiencing chills, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches or fatigue, please contact your doctor as soon as possible.”
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