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October 1, 2014

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2 more die of flu; vaccine clinics scheduled this weekend

Updated Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009 | 1:19 p.m.

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The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting two more deaths from the H1N1 flu, bringing the total number of deaths in Clark County to 20.

A 61-year-old woman and a 44-year-old woman, both with underlying health problems, died from the flu during the week of Oct. 20, health officials said.

There are several patients in critical condition who are hospitalized with complications from H1N1.. Further information about the patients is not available because of privacy laws.

Also today, the Southern Nevada Health District has scheduled two H1N1 flu vaccine clinics for this weekend, one in Las Vegas and the other Henderson.

Both clinics will operate between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday. One clinic will operate at the health district's main center, 625 Shadow Lane, and the second at its Henderson public health center, 520 E. Lake Mead Parkway.

Both injectable and inhaled vaccines will be available to members of priority groups most at risk for severe illness or complications from the H1N1, also known as swine flu, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

In order to provide the H1N1 vaccines to members of the priority groups, injectable immunizations will only be offered to those who cannot use inhaled vaccine, especially pregnant women and children who have chronic medical conditions, health officials said.

Individuals who are eligible to receive the inhaled vaccine will only be offered FluMist, the inhaled version.

Pregnant women and children younger than 6 months are urged to receive injectable H1N1 immunizations.

The inhaled vaccine is being offered by the health district to priority group members who are between the ages of 2 and 24 years old, health care workers and emergency medical technicians with direct patient contact as well as parents and caregivers of infants younger than 6 months old. Each group must have no underlying conditions.

The inhaled vaccine is recommended for healthy people who are not pregnant and are younger than 50. The inhaled FluMist spray contains traces of live virus, while the injectable immunizations contain a dead strain.

"I would like to remind Southern Nevadans that the inhaled vaccine is an excellent immunization and we have seen more people in our clinic who are opting for it," said Dr. Lawrence Sands, chief health officer.

The health district will continue to offer only inhaled immunizations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 625 Shadow Lane.

More clinics are being planned, but the health district is waiting for more shipments of the novel virus vaccinations.

As of Thursday, the health district had received about 69,600 doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine and had administered more than 28,000 doses, 15,200 of them inhaled FluMist vaccine.

The health district continues to monitor for both seasonal and the novel 2009 flu strains. Local and national reports have found that nearly all confirmed cases of influenza are the novel H1N1 strain. To date, there have been more than 1,900 laboratory-confirmed H1N1 flu cases in Clark County.

However, federal and local health officials said that confirmed cases are a small portion of residents infected with the novel flu, as most people do not seek medical care.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, said this week that the virus strain has not changed over the summer. H1N1 flu is widespread in 48 states.

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