El Paso’s flu death count reaches 2009 H1N1 epidemic numbers

POSTED: 05:59 PM MST Feb 26, 2014    UPDATED: 12:34 PM MST Feb 27, 2014 
Flu has hit El Paso this season
EL PASO, TX -

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that the number of flu-related deaths this season has gone up to 17. 14 of which are related to the “Influenza A H1N1” strain.

The two deaths that the Health Department reported this week involve middle-aged men who each had at least one underlying, chronic condition. Even though the number of flu cases continues to drop, these two recent deaths bring El Paso’s total to the same level as during the 2009 H1N1 Influenza pandemic.

“During the 2009-2010 season we recorded 17 deaths related to the flu. While we have reached that same number, it is also important to remind the public that much has changed over the past several years. We now have a vaccine against this strain that has proven effective, and the medical community now knows how best to treat those who are infected,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “We need to continue to focus on prevention and getting the flu vaccine this season and next,” he said.

So far this season the Department has recorded the flu-related deaths of one young-adult male, four elderly men, three middle-aged women, two elderly females, and seven middle-aged men, including these most recent cases. More than 220 new flu cases were reported to the Department in the last week.

Department officials are also asking residents to practice the “4 C’s” --     CLEAN-Wash your hands often. COVER-Cover your cough. CONTAIN-Contain germs by steering clear of others who are sick. CALL-Call or see your doctor if you or your child has a fever of greater than 100 degrees.

More information is available at www.EPHealth.com. Click on the flu prevention page.