3 flu-related deaths confirmed in southwest Utah, officials say

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ST. GEORGE -- Three people were confirmed dead, Monday, due to influenza, according to the Southwest Utah Public Health Department in St. George.

The victims were under the age of 65. These are the first flu deaths reported in the area for the 2013-14 flu season, according to a SWUPHD press release.

One death was reported last year in the five-county area.

SWUPHD serves Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington Counties.

"We have now had 46 people hospitalized from the flu this season," stated Lisa Starr, SWUPHD Surveillance Nurse. "Their ages range from infants to the elderly, but nearly all of them tested positive for the H1N1 flu strain, which caused the 2009 pandemic.”

The Centers for Disease Control reported widespread flu activity throughout the United States. Most cases are H1N1 and more than 60 percent of hospitalizations involve people under the age of 65, a pattern similar to the 2009 pandemic, the release stated.

"We urge people to get vaccinated if they haven't already," Starr said. "This year's vaccine includes protection against H1N1 and is still available."

Flu vaccines are available at the SWUHD clinics:

-620 S. 400 East in St. George on the third floor. Walk-ins are welcome.

Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays are from 1-5 p.m.; every other Friday is 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting Jan. 24.

-260 E. DL Sargent Drive in Cedar City. Walk-ins are welcome.

Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tuesdays are from 1-4:30 p.m.; Fridays are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

-445 N. Main Street in Kanab. Must make an appointment. Call 435-644-2537.

-75 W. 1174 North in Beaver. Must make an appointment. Call 435-438-2482.

-601 E. Center Street in Panguitch. Must make an appointment. Call 435-676-8800.

10 comments

  • Nancy

    I WILL NEVER, EVER GET THE FLU SHOT! TOO DANGEROUS! I have seen on the News what those shots can do to people. Therefore I will never get them.

    On the story on the news it was about a woman that had taken a flu shot, and shortly afterwards she couldn’t walk forward any longer, or run forward at all. Let alone walk! You will not see me in any clinic getting this shot. I am so glad that she won her case. H1N1 Vaccines need to be made a lot safer than they have been.

  • Mandi

    And of those deaths how many of them had gotten the vaccine? I think that this is something that should be included in the story as well. We have never, nor ever will get the flu vaccine, or any other vaccine for that matter. After extensive research it is far safer for me and my family to not be vaccinated. The government lies through their teeth when it comes to how safe they really are.

  • Leslie

    I also would like to know if those people had their flu shots this year. I’d like to see the figures. How many people get the flu anyway?

    • Eric Anderson

      I’m not that curious. The verdict is already in: You’re much less likely to get flu if you are vaccinated, and if you do it’s usually much less severe.

      Whether or not these particuar folks got a shot this year falls under the category of “anecdote” unless their data points correlate with a much larger data set.

      It’s a mistake to look at a single anecdote, or even three of them, and reach broad conclusions. You could just as easily point to a heavy smoker that lives to 95 and conclude that smoking doesn’t shorten your life span. Or point to someone going 150 mph down State Street and concluding that because HE isn’t dead then it must be safe.

      People tend to believe what they want to believe, and look for any sort of anecdote to “prove” them right.

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