EL PASO, Texas - El Paso's Department of Public Health announced Thursday that the number of flu-related deaths in El Paso has reached 15.
The latest death involves an elderly woman with at least one chronic medical condition.
Deaths So Far This Season In El Paso
- 1 young-adult male
- 5 middle-aged men
- 4 elderly men
- 2 elderly female
- 3 middle-aged women
"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.
More than 225 new flu cases were reported to the health department in the last week. This season they have investigated 3,396 cases of flu with both influenza type A and B continuing to be detected in the El Paso area.
Flu Vaccine Is 1st Line Of Defense
The health 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 cost $35.
Health department officials urge people to contact the clinic of their choice to verify availability of both the children's and adult vaccines before their visit.
Residents may also consult with their primary care provider or a local pharmacy in order to obtain the adult vaccine. People may also call the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Center to help find a location near you where the vaccine is available.
Health department officials ask residents to practice the "4 C's" which they say 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.