The death of an elderly woman has brought the number of flu-related deaths in the area so far this season to three.
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health officials say the woman was in her mid-80s and had not been vaccinated against the influenza virus.
Officials also point out that she did have underlying medical conditions.
“The trend we are seeing right now is that the number of flu cases being reported continues to increase,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “We want to express our condolences to this woman’s loved ones and remind the community to please guard themselves against the flu, because it can have devastating effects. It is not too late to get a flu vaccine”
As of the third week of January, the number of flu cases in El Paso is 661; compared to 1,540 at the same time last season.
There were 21 flu-related deaths during last year’s flu season.
In addition to the flu vaccine, public health officials remind the public to practice the four C’s in order to help reduce the incidence of infection. They are:
- 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 greater than 100 degrees.
The website offers flu-related information including modes of prevention, flu surveillance and other resources in an effort to achieve the City’s goal to nurture and promote a healthy, sustainable community.