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

Posted at 3:30 PM, Jan 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-14 23:45:31-05

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.