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Home | Tag Archives: flu

Tag Archives: flu

El Paso’s Flu-Related Death Count Now Stands at 13

Two newly confirmed flu-related deaths has brought the total to 13 so far this season. The Department of Public Health has received reports that a woman in her 70’s and a man in his 80’s have both died. Both had underlying medical conditions.

“Our thoughts and sentiments are with the families and loved ones of these individuals,” said Public Health Director Robert Resendes. “We will continue our efforts to raise awareness about flu prevention and continue to report the loss of life to this disease as a way to encourage prevention.”

There have been 6,579 confirmed flu cases reported in El Paso so far this season. There were 571 cases confirmed at the same time last year.

Public Health officials continue to urge medical providers to test for the flu and to prescribe antivirals when possible. They also encourage El Paso residents to be vaccinated and to practice the “4 C’s.”

  1. CLEAN – Wash your hands often. Scrub hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  2. 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.
  3. CONTAIN – Contain germs by steering clear of others who are sick. If you’re sick, stay home until you’re well.
  4. CALL – Call or see a doctor if you or your child has a fever greater than 100 degrees.

For more information on the programs and services provided by the Department of Public Health, please call 2-1-1 or visit WWW.EPHealth.com

The table below describes all 13 confirmed flu-related cases reported so far this season.

1. Female 50’s Underlying Medical Conditions
2. Male 90’s Underlying Medical Conditions
3. Male 90’s Underlying Medical Conditions
4. Male 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions
5. Male 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions
6. Female 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions
7. Female 70’s Underlying Medical Conditions
8. Male 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions
9. Male 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions
10 Male 50’s Underlying Medical Conditions
11. Female 70’s Underlying Medical Conditions
NEW 12. Female 70’s Underlying Medical Conditions
NEW 13. Male 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions

Eighth Flu-Related Death Reported in El Paso; 3300+ Flu Cases Reported So Far

The Department of Public Health has received a report of an additional flu-related death in the area. This bring the total of flu-related deaths reported to the Department of Public Health to eight.

Officials say the latest reported flu-related death is a man in his 80’s, who had underlying medical conditions.

“As the list of those who have passed away as a result of flu complications continues to grow, it doesn’t make it any easier to report,” said Public Health Director Robert Resendes. “What we know is that every flu season needs to be taken seriously, and we all need to do our part to prevent the flu in our community.”

There have been 3,379 confirmed flu cases reported in El Paso as of the second week in January. This is more than eight times higher than the 396 cases that were reported at this time last year.

The table below provides some background on the eight patients who have succumbed to the virus this season.

  1. Female 50’s Underlying Medical Conditions
  2. Male 90’s Underlying Medical Conditions
  3. Male 90’s Underlying Medical Conditions
  4. Male 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions
  5. Male 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions
  6. Female 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions
  7. Female 70’s Underlying Medical Conditions
NEW 8. Male 80’s Underlying Medical Conditions

Public Health officials continue to urge medical providers to test for the flu and to prescribe antivirals when possible. They also encourage El Paso residents to be vaccinated and to practice the “4 C’s” which have proven to be effective in preventing the spread of the flu:

  1. CLEAN – Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. CALL – Call or see your doctor if you or your child has a fever greater than 100 degrees.

For more information on the programs and services provided by the Department of Public Health, call 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com.

Immunize El Paso Secures Additional Flu Vaccine

With El Paso County reporting nearly a tripling in flu cases compared to last year, Immunize El Paso is stepping up efforts to ensure borderland residents get protected.

The non-profit immunization group recently received a shipment of over 2,000 flu vaccines for adults, and has an additional stockpile reserved exclusively for children who do not have health insurance or cannot otherwise afford the vaccine.

Typically, the flu vaccination period is from September to mid-December, with most providers ceasing immunization efforts after this time frame. With the news of widespread flu activity across Texas, patients have had mild difficulty locating flu clinics.

This prompted IZEP to procure additional doses to avoid circumstances of a localized shortage.

“After the holiday season, it can be particularly difficult to find influenza vaccine” said Dusty Warden, outreach coordinator for Immunize El Paso.  “With news of rising flu activity, people have been seeking out protection against the potentially deadly virus.”

Testing by the Texas Department of Health has revealed that the most prevalent strain of flu being transmitted is an Influenza Type A (H3N2), which a related strain is contained in this year’s flu vaccine formulation. Matching flu transmission with flu vaccine components naturally increase the likeness of effective vaccine protection.

Non-pharmaceutical interventions are also just as important to stopping to flu. Remember the four “C”s: Clean your hands, Cover your cough, Contain germs by avoiding others when you’re sick, and Call your doctor if you experience a high-grade fever.

Flu vaccines will be available at each of Immunize El Paso’s clinic locations along with outreach site scheduled through the next several weeks.

More information on this year’s flu activity and vaccine can be found at www.cdc.gov/fluimmunizeelpaso.org or by calling 915-881-1100.

***

Central El Paso:                                                                                            

San Juan Clinic

6292 Trowbridge, 79905

Monday through Friday 8AM – 5PM

Saturday: 9AM – 12 Noon (check schedule for details)

Phone – 915-533-3414

 

East El Paso: 

1580 George Dieter, Ste 103, 79936

Monday through Friday: 8AM – 5PM

Saturday: 9AM – 12 Noon

Phone – 915-857-2474

Department of Health Issues ‘Health Advisory’ Over Flu in Region

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health is issuing a health advisory to local physicians and healthcare providers regarding the increase in flu activity and a particular strain that can have severe effects on those with weaker immune systems.

“We want our local community to be especially sensitive to those with chronic conditions and pregnant women because they are considered at a higher risk,” said Department of Public Health Director Robert Resendes. “While we still encourage vaccination, we are also putting the message out to local providers that they need to consider prescribing antivirals quickly as the flu season continues to peak. Those with flu symptoms are encouraged to seek out medical care as soon as possible after onset of flu like symptoms.”

With 1,163 confirmed cases reported so far this flu season, as compared to 252 cases at this time last year, public Health officials are recommending that health care providers who diagnose patients with the flu consider beginning the use of antivirals as soon as possible in order to reduce the severity of the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) influenza activity in the United States has increased significantly over recent weeks with influenza and the most predominate strain so far this season has been one that can have severe effects on those 65 years and older, pregnant women and young children.

The Department is issuing an electronic Health Advisory to all local doctor’s offices, clinics, and hospitals in an effort to get the message out about the flu this season and special considerations for those most vulnerable, including children and the elderly, and those with chronic conditions. The public is also reminded to practice the four C’s:

  1. CLEAN – Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. CALL – Call or see your doctor if you or your child has a fever greater than 100 degrees.

The mission of the City of El Paso Department of Public Health is to Provide Public Health related research, evaluation, education, prevention, intervention, and preparedness services.

For more information on programs and services, call 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com or www.EPSalud.com.

Department of Public Health Confirms First Flu-Related Death this Season

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:

  1. CLEAN – Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Third Flu-Related Death in El Paso Reported; Pre-Teen Had ‘Multiple Underlying Medical Conditions’

Late Tuesday afternoon, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced the third flu-related death in the area this season.

The patient was a pre-teen girl with multiple chronic medical conditions. She tested positive for Influenza A and had not received a flu vaccine this season.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this young girl’s loved-ones. A tragedy like this one reminds us why the work we do is so important,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “This is why we promote flu prevention to help prevent all kinds of diseases.”

The flu vaccine is still considered the first line of defense against the disease and El Pasoans should consider that it is not too late to be vaccinated.

In addition, the “4 C’s” can be used year-round to help prevent the spread of disease.

  1. CLEAN – Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. CALL – Call or see your doctor if you or your child has a fever of greater than 100 degrees.

For more information on the programs and services provided by the Department of Public Health, please call 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com

Second Flu-Related Death in El Paso Reported

Less than a week after the first flu-related death was identified in El Paso, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health has confirmed a second flu-related fatality.

This second death this season involves a woman in her 80’s who had underlying medical conditions. It is not known if she had received a flu vaccine for this flu season.

There were a total of two flu-related deaths in El Paso last season.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these individuals during this difficult time,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “We ask that our communities take note of the seriousness of the flu virus and take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease so that their deaths are not in vain.”

The flu vaccine is still considered the first line of defense against the disease and El Pasoans should consider that it is not too late to be vaccinated. The flu vaccine is still available at local retail outlets and through the “Vaccinations for Health” program which teams up the El Paso Fire Department with the El Paso Health Department.

Residents of El Paso and Hudspeth County who are 18 and over and do not have medical insurance or are on Medicaid qualify to receive the vaccine along with other services free of charge. The services will be offered March 1, 8, and 29, 2017 at the EPFD Safety Health Outreach Center located at 5415 Trowbridge Dr. from 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The Department of Public Health will team up with the Horizon Fire Department to offer free services that include free flu vaccines on March 13, 2017 at the El Paso County Self-Help Center located at15731 Kentwood Avenue, Horizon, TX, 79928. Services will be offered from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Residents are also asked to practice the “4 C’s” which have proven to be effective in preventing the spread of the flu virus:

  1. CLEAN – Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. CALL – Call or see your doctor if you or your child has a fever of greater than 100 degrees.

Influenza activity has been increasing over the past couple of weeks in El Paso and it is likely that flu activity will continue for several more weeks this season, so getting vaccinated now can still provide protection. As of mid-February there have been a total of 1,320 flu cases reported.

More than half of those cases were reported in the first weeks of February. There were a total of 1,684 cases of flu reported at this time during last years’ flu season.

The mission of the City of El Paso Department of Public Health is to Provide Public Health related research, evaluation, education, prevention, intervention, and preparedness services. For more information on the programs and services we provide, please call 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com

Department of Health Confirms First Flu-Related Death of the Season

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has recorded the first flu-related death in our area this season.

The case involves a man in his 90’s who had underlying medical conditions. He tested positive for Influenza A, and it is not known if he had received a flu vaccine for this flu season.

“We are saddened anytime we see the flu virus claim a life in El Paso,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “We know the number of flu cases is increasing both locally and throughout the country right now and so we encourage residents to be on guard and do what they can to prevent the spread.”

The flu vaccine is still considered the first line of defense against the disease and El Pasoans should consider that it is not too late to be vaccinated. The flu vaccine is still available at local retail outlets and through the “Vaccinations for Health” program which teams up the El Paso Fire Department with the El Paso Health Department.

Residents of El Paso and Hudspeth County who are 18 and over and do not have medical insurance or are on Medicaid qualify to receive the vaccine along with other services free of charge. The services will be offered March 1, 8, and 29, 2017 at the EPFD Safety Health Outreach Center located at 5415 Trowbridge Dr. from 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The Department of Public Health will team up with the Horizon Fire Department to offer free services that include free flu vaccines on March 13, 2017 at the El Paso County Self-Help Center located at 15731 Kentwood Avenue, Horizon, TX, 79928. Services will be offered from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Residents are also asked to practice the “4 C’s” which have proven to be effective in preventing the spread of the flu:

  1. CLEAN – Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. CALL – Call or see your doctor if you or your child has a fever of greater than 100 degrees.

As of mid-February there have been a total of 1,320 flu cases reported. More than half of those cases were reported in the first weeks of February. There were a total of 1,684 cases of flu reported at this time during last years’ flu season.

The mission of the City of El Paso Department of Public Health is to Provide Public Health related research, evaluation, education, prevention, intervention, and preparedness services. For more information on the programs and services we provide, please call 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com.

Doctors Warn Against Overdosing on Cold and Flu Medications

HENDERSON, Nev. – Cold and flu season is officially here, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans catch about 1 billion colds every year.

Seven in 10 use over-the-counter medications to treat the symptoms. Many of these meds – from cough syrup and throat lozenges to nasal sprays – contain the common drug ingredient acetaminophen. It’s safe and effective when used as directed, said pharmacist Dr. Leiana Oswald, but there is a limit to how much you can take in one day.

“When the labels are not followed, when the warnings or precautions are not followed, there can be a risk,” she said. “A lot of patients don’t realize that different products contain the same ingredients, and there’s an opportunity to accidentally overdose.”

Acetaminophen is found in more than 600 different over-the-counter and prescription medicines, and the CDC has said acetaminophen overdoses send an estimated 26,000 people to the emergency room every year. The overdose can be mild, from an upset stomach and feeling lethargic to very severe cases of liver failure.

The Food and Drug Administration has set a maximum daily dose of 4,000 milligrams in a 24-hour period, but Oswald said it isn’t the same for everyone.

“We know that for the regular, healthy adult, the FDA has approved up to 4,000 milligrams of acetaminophen,” she said, “but depending on different disease states, depending on age – or for example, if someone may be pregnant – that amount of 4,000 milligrams could go down.”

When giving these medications to children, said Oswald, an assistant professor of pharmacy at Roseman University of Health Sciences, it’s very important to get the right dosage. She recommended following the guidelines at KnowYourDose.org.

Author: Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

El Pasoans Urged to Get Flu Shot Ahead of Season

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is joining other cities across the Lone Star State to commemorate Texas Influenza Awareness Day on October 1.

As the number of flu cases in our area begins to pick up steam, officials want to make sure that everyone six months old and older gets vaccinated to protect themselves from getting the flu.

“We have yet to see huge numbers of flu cases in the Sun City,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “What we know for sure is that the flu shot is the first line of defense to prevent getting sick.”

Flu vaccination is particularly important for pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions, because people in those groups are at a greater risk of severe complications if they do get the flu.

The DPH currently has flu vaccines available for patients 6 months to 18 years of age. They are available at DPH Immunization Centers for $10/per dose.

For patients, age 6 months through 18 years, to be eligible to receive Texas Vaccines For Children (TVFC) immunizations at the Department of Public Health Clinics, they must meet one of the eligibility criteria listed below:

  • Medicaid eligible
  • Uninsured: a child without health insurance coverage
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • Enrolled in CHIP
  • Underinsured*

*Underinsured definition from DSHS – A child who has commercial (private) health insurance, but coverage does not include vaccines.

The flu vaccine for adult patients over the age of 19 is expected to be available on October 12. Residents may call 915-212-6555 to schedule an appointment.

In addition, the El Paso Fire and Health Department’s “Vaccinations for Health” program will provide free influenza vaccines along with various screenings to patients 18 and older

  • Saturday Oct. 1: Station 17, 8803 Alameda Ave., 8-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday Oct. 5: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday Oct. 12: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-6 p.m.
  • Saturday Oct. 15: Station 18, 7901 San Jose Rd., 8-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday Oct. 19: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday Oct. 26: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-6 p.m.

Influenza, commonly known as the “flu”, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms usually start abruptly and include fever, body aches, chills, a dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and extreme fatigue and can last a week or longer.

Take precautions to reduce your chance of getting the flu this season by getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home if you’re sick. People can contact their health care provider, local health department, local pharmacy or visit thehttp://dshs.texas.gov/txflu/flu-locator.shtm to find out where flu shots are available.

Health officials encourage people to seek treatment if experiencing flu symptoms. If started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, antivirals may help shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the flu.

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