Two Clark County residents who died over weekend had H1N1 virus

Two more deaths from the H1N1 virus were reported Tuesday by the Southern Nevada Health District.

Stephanie Bethel, a spokeswoman for the district, said a 41-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man died over the weekend from the virus.

Both had underlying medical conditions, she said.

Citing privacy laws, Bethel did not disclose the names of the victims, where they died or what their underlying conditions were.

Ten H1N1-related deaths have now occurred in Clark County.

Two patients remain hospitalized with the illness.

The health district now reports 306 confirmed cases in Clark County

“But we believe that is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Jennifer Sizemore, another spokeswoman for the district.

The first reports of the H1N1 virus surfaced last spring and the virus continues to spread.

Many people, she noted, don’t seek medical treatment because they are able to fight off the virus, which experts have said is actually milder than the seasonal flu.

About 36,000 people die from the seasonal flu each year in the United States and another 200,000 people are hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The seasonal flu typically runs from October through May.

Sizemore said people should get their seasonal flu shots as soon as possible and cautioned that the vaccination does not work against the H1N1 virus.

Federal officials now believe that the H1N1 vaccine will be available in mid-October.

“It is safe to get vaccinated for both the seasonal flu and then the H1N1 flu as long as people did not have a bad reaction to the seasonal flu shot,” Sizemore said.

Contact reporter Paul Harasim at or 702-387-2908.