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Southern Nevada Health District prepare for flu season

Reported by: Amber Dixon
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Updated: 12/07/2012 6:20 pm
It's not here yet but it's coming. The flu is hitting the east coast with a fury. Two children in the U.S. have already died from it so are we prepared here? News 3's Amber Dixon talked with the southern Nevada health district

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- According to the Southern Nevada Health District, there are plenty of flu vaccines available.

They said those vaccines should protect against the different and possibly more dangerous flu strand being seen this year.

The local health district said the number of those infected in our area is not high right now.

“In Southern Nevada, really just a handful of cases so far,” said Senior Scientist Nancy Williams of the Southern Nevada Health District.

But the number could rise as a flu strain on the East Coast may make its way here.

“We know it's coming, and our peak might be a little bit later than it is on the East Coast, but there will be many more cases this year unfortunately,” said Williams.

The flu strain is different than in years past and possibly more severe said Williams .

“It's a different strain that's been circulating than other recent years,” said Williams. “It may be slightly more serious as far as symptoms it causes.”

Travel could speed up the strain's introduction in our state.

“With the holidays coming up, people getting together, traveling across the country where there might be more flu than here, it's a good idea to get the flu vaccine now,” said community health nursing supervisor Joann Rupiper.

An upcoming trip is one reason Karen Keeney said she got a flu shot Friday.

“We’ll be going to Paris soon,” said Keeney.

Her husband's reason was mostly because of age.

“Well, mainly because my wife has been nagging me to come,” joked Terry Keeney. “Now that I'm a little over 65, I'm a little more responsible. I thought it was probably a good idea to get a flu shot.”

It's recommended those over 65, those with serious medical conditions and young children should get the vaccine.

The Southern Nevada Health District said there's no shortage of it.

They said babies under six months old cannot get the flu vaccine, because they are too young.

They said if you are going to be around a baby that age, you should get vaccinated to prevent them from getting infected.

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