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Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 1:41pm
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — The City of El Paso's Department of Public Health announced that a middle-aged woman has become the city's 14th flu-related fatality.
Health Department Officials confirmed the death on Thursday morning, saying that the woman also suffered from at least one other chronic medical condition. The woman's death is the latest in this season's flu season. The Department has already recorded the flu-deaths of one young-adult male, five middle-aged men, four elderly men, one elderly female and three middle-aged women, including this latest case.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with those members of our community who have fallen victim to the flu virus and with their families and loved-ones,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “We must not forget that this disease can be deadly and that as a community we must take action to reduce its spread.”
The City Department of Health continues to stress the importance of vaccinations in the Borderland, as more than 350 new cases were reported to the Department within the last week. This season, the city has seen a total of 3,168 cases of flu. Both influenza type A and B continue to be detected in the El Paso area.
The influenza vaccine is considered the first line of defense against the flu virus, and the Department’s Immunization Program has limited quantities of the flu vaccine for both adults and children. Flu vaccines are available for children ages six months to 18-years-old who do not have health insurance and who meet eligibility requirements. The cost is $10.00. Adult flu vaccines are provided for $35.00. Clients are urged to contact the clinic of their choice to verify availability of both the children’s and adult vaccines prior to their visit. Residents may also consult with their primary care provider or a local pharmacy in order to obtain the adult vaccine. You may also call the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Center to help find a location near you where the vaccine is available.
In addition, Department officials are asking residents to practice the “4 C’s”. These recommendations have proven to be effective in preventing the spread of the flu virus.
- CLEAN - Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- COVER - Cover your cough. Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Don’t have a tissue? The crook of your elbow will do.
- CONTAIN - Contain germs by steering clear of others who are sick. If you do get sick, stay home until you’re well again, so you don’t spread more germs.
- CALL - Call or see your doctor if you or your child has a fever of greater than 100 degrees.
For more information on preventing the flu visit: www.EPHealth.com and click on the flu prevention page. In addition, agencies or organizations interested in a Speakers Bureau presentation may click on the Special Projects tab and request a presentation on flu prevention.
The mission of the El Paso Department of Public Health is to work in partnership with people in our community to promote and protect the health of the borderland. For more information on the programs and services offered by the Department of Public Health, visit EPHealth.com or call 2-1-1.