This flu season has seen 22 deaths in Clark County, an increase over the eight recorded this time last year.
In both years, those flu-related deaths happened between Oct. 1 and March 12.
This year, the largest number of deaths, 8, came from the 50-64 age group, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. Seven older than 65 died, while there were six between 25 and 49 and one who was 4 or younger.
Looking at total cases in the Las Vegas area, health district numbers show, this year there have been 449 cases, compared to 482 a year ago.
“This year’s actually very typical,” the health district’s Dr. Linh Nguyen said Wednesday. “Last year was a really mild year for flu.”
Influenza has sent 259 people to the hospital this year, Nguyen said. Last year, only 150 were hospitalized.
One difference between last year and this year’s flu season is that the health district is seeing more of the H1N1 strain, also known as swine flu. That type of flu killed nearly 300,000 worldwide in 2009-10, when it reached pandemic level.
An unusually high 5,567 cases of flu were reported in the Las Vegas Valley during that time.
Regardless of the strain, the health district offers the same advice: the young and very old should get vaccinated, and everyone should wash their hands. H1N1 is included in the flu vaccine now.
And for those who already are infected: “Stay home if you’re sick,” Nguyen said. “That’s the best way to not spread it around.”
Contact reporter Adam Kealoha Causey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0361. Follow him on Twitter @akcausey.