Health District Reports Third H1N1 Related Death in Clark County Resident
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 17, 2009
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District today announced the third H1N1-related death in a Clark County resident. The patient, a 47-year-old man with underlying medical conditions, died this morning. The health district is not able to release additional details due to patient privacy concerns. Currently, there are three novel H1N1-confirmed patients who remain hospitalized with severe illness. As of Friday, July 10, there are 145 confirmed novel H1N1 cases in Clark County; this patient’s confirmatory testing results were received after Friday and he is not included in the most recent case count. Unfortunately, the health district anticipates additional deaths due to novel H1N1 will be reported and, as with seasonal influenza, this is not unexpected. As of Tuesday, July 21, the weekly update will include reports of novel H1N1-related deaths in addition to updated case counts. The update is posted by noon.
“This recent death serves as an unfortunate reminder that we will continue to see deaths and serious illness related to the new flu strain as we do with influenza every year. We know that the patient had underlying medical conditions which can contribute to the severity of the illness in this patient and others,” said Dr. Lawrence Sands, chief health officer. “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. Many of these people do not seek medical care and recover on their own.”
The health district reported the most recent novel H1N1-related death of a 51-year-old man on July 6. Previous deaths included a 33-year-old Clark County resident, and a 70-year-old patient who was a resident of another state.
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.