Health District Reports Second H1N1 Related Death in Clark County Resident
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 6, 2009
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District today announced the second H1N1-related death in a Clark County resident. The patient, a 51-year-old man with an underlying medical condition, was hospitalized June 25 and died Friday, July 3. The health district is not able to release additional details due to patient privacy concerns. Currently, there are three novel H1N1-confirmed patients who are hospitalized; two of these remain in serious condition, the other is still hospitalized but improving. In addition, the health district reports there are seven patients who are hospitalized and their H1N1 confirmatory test results are pending. As of Friday, June 26, there are 110 confirmed novel H1N1 cases in Clark County. The health district updates its case count weekly and the next update will be Tuesday, July 7. A majority of local cases have experienced mild illness.
“With this H1N1-related death, the health district reminds the community that the influenza virus is still circulating in Southern Nevada. Unfortunately, we will continue to see deaths related to the new flu strain as we do with influenza every year. Again, it is important to note that a majority of Southern Nevadans who have been infected with the novel H1N1 virus have experienced mild illness,” said Dr. Lawrence Sands, chief health officer. “This patient did have an underlying medical condition and we know that this could contribute to the severity of the illness in this patient and others. We are fortunate that a majority of people who are infected with this strain or other seasonal influenza strains have mild illness and recover on their own without seeking medical care.”
The health district reported the death of a local resident on June 29, and the death of a Las Vegas visitor on June 12.
The health district’s influenza surveillance program is ongoing and the agency continues to work with community partners and health care providers to monitor the current situation. Recently, the health district began a voluntary pediatric influenza surveillance program at four pediatric clinics to enable the health district to monitor the presence of influenza virus in the community during the summer and to enable early detection of its return in the fall. A majority of cases recently reported are generated by the pediatric surveillance program. None of these cases have been severe. The pediatric surveillance program continues to confirm positive novel H1N1 cases and re-affirms that H1N1 influenza is still circulating in the community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than one million Americans have already been infected with the new, novel H1N1 influenza strain. The new strain continues to spread throughout the United States. It is likely that localized outbreaks will continue to occur during the summer and the CDC expects that there will be patients who experience serious illness. In addition, the CDC notes that there will be more deaths associated with the novel H1N1 strain as with any influenza strain, however, a majority of people in the United States have experienced mild illness.
Current recommendations to the public encourage good health habits to minimize the spread of influenza:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with influenza, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Individuals who become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea may want to contact their health care provider.
Updated information is available on the Southern Nevada Health District website, www.SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict.org as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site, www.cdc.gov. In addition, the Nevada Helpline is available in English and Spanish, (1-866) 767-5038 or (702) 759-INFO (4636).
Visit the Media Contacts webpage for media related inquiries.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.