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Total flu cases rise to 3,396
Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 1:30pm
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — The number of flu-related deaths has now risen to fifteen, the El Paso Department o Public Health confirmed Thursday. The latest death was an elderly woman with a confirmed underlying medical condition.
This season, the flu has claimed the lives of a young man, five middle-aged men, four elderly men, three middle-aged women and two elderly women.
El Paso saw more than 225 new flu cases within the last week, which raises the total number of investigated flu cases to 3,396 this season. Both influenza type A and B have been seen in patients throughout the area.
“It appears that we are in a downslope of flu cases in our area, but we’ve seen two separate spikes in numbers this season. While we hope the numbers continue to decrease, there is no guarantee,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist.
The Department of Public Health continues to stress the importance of vaccination against the virus to the community. The Department's Immunization Program has limited quantities of the flu vaccine for 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.