EL PASO, Texas -

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced Wednesday afternoon  that three chronically ill people in the El Paso area have died after getting the flu.

The patients, all three female, were 83, 70, and 53-years-old. All three women had serious underlying health conditions, according to the Department of Public Health.

"Our efforts to combat this disease have been reinvigorated knowing that three medically fragile members of our community have died after getting the flu," said Bruce Parsons, Interim Health Director. "We share this information in hopes of renewing the public's interest in taking the appropriate steps to prevent more cases of flu this season."

The Department continues to recommend vaccinations as well as the four C's in order to prevent further illness in our community:

  • CLEAN-Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 20 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 at 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 flu season total for 2012-2013 is currently 1,989 cases with cases for the month of January still pending. This compares to 31 cases for the same time period in the 2011-2012 flu season.