H1N1 Virus Spreading in Las Vegas Valley


The H1N1 virus, or swine flu, continues to spread in the Las Vegas Valley. The Southern Nevada Health District has updated the estimated number of swine flu cases to 129.

Dr. Lawrence Sands, the district's chief medical officer, analyzes tests to determine the number of cases in the county. Looking at the results, he says, "this virus is pretty widespread in the community and pretty well established."

The virus has already killed three people in the region—two locals and one tourist. There are currently three people in the hospital suffering from the virus, with an additional seven people hospitalized on suspicion of having the flu.

Dr. Ron Shockley is in charge of infectious diseases at Sunrise Hospital and says that "the people who get sick with the seasonal flu are the ones who are in those high risk factors. They very young, pregnant, older people with weaker immune systems."

Two of the three deaths linked to swine flu in Las Vegas were people with other serious medical conditions that weakened their immune systems.

Health officials say a vaccine will not be ready in time for the start of flu shot season. 

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