Wednesday afternoon the City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced the first flu-related death in the area this season.
Officials say the case involves a woman in her 50’s who had underlying medical conditions who had had not received a flu vaccine this season.
“It is never easy to report this type of news, especially so close to the holidays,” said Public Health Director Robert Resendes. “Unfortunately, flu cases will likely increase as we celebrate this season which is why it is so important that those who haven’t received their flu vaccine to get their flu shot now.”
The Department of Public Health encourages El Paso residents to call 2-1-1 to find a flu vaccine provider. Residents are also asked to practice the “4 C’s” which are effective in preventing the spread of the flu:
- 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.
An increase in flu activity has been reported locally and across the nation. Getting an annual flu vaccine not only protects you but also protects others around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, elderly, and people with existing medical conditions.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to fully develop protection against the flu.
For more information on the programs and services provide by the Department of Public Health, call 2-1-1 or visit the website.