The number of flu-releated deaths in El Paso has risen to 11 this flu season, the El Paso Department of Public Health announced on Thursday.
The number of flu deaths was four last week.
A Breakdown Of The Fatalities.
- Six involve patients considered middle-aged, between 31 and 65 years old.
- One patient was a young adult. He is the only one of the fatalities that had no known underlying medical conditions.
- Four were elderly, over the age of 65.
- Eight of the 11 cases have tested positive for infection from the H1N1 influenza virus strain. A total of 1,800 flu cases have been confirmed in El Paso so far this season. So far, 93 percent of the flu cases have been identified as type A.
- The health department says that 9 of the 11 individuals who died did not appear to have been vaccinated against the flu virus.
"A large number of these cases may be H1N1 but additional testing is often not performed because the treatment of any flu is basically the same," said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. "We know that H1N1 is severely affecting many of those who are infected with that particular strain which is why flu prevention is so important," he said.
Department officials continue to recommend vaccination as the primary method of defense against the flu virus.
Department officials are asking residents to practice the "4 C's".
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.
At this time, the Department is recommending residents contact their primary healthcare provider in order to obtain the flu vaccine. You may also call the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Center to help find a location near you where the vaccine is available.
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.