Flu-related death toll rises to 13 in El Paso
POSTED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 1:27pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 6:25pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — The number of people who have died as a result of the flu in El Paso county has now risen to thirteen. The El Paso Department of Health confirmed the two latest deaths on Wednesday afternoon.
EP Health says the the two latest deaths were an elderly and middle-aged man, but of whom had the H1N1 strain of the flu virus. Officials with the city note that 12 of the 13 flu-related deaths were from individuals who were not vaccinated against the flu.
Officials also say that there are now 2,248 confirmed cases of the flu in El Paso. As the number of flu cases increased over the past week, City Health Officials are once again urging the public to protect themselves and their families against the virus.
“The flu season is not over and the virus is still out there. We know the flu virus can continue to infect people well into spring, and it will if we don’t keep our guard up,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “The number of deaths, the number of cases, and the number of patients being treated in area hospitals should serve as a reminder that this battle is not over,” he said.
While it does take approximately two weeks for the flu vaccine to become fully effective in the human body, it is not too late to receive the vaccine. The 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 are provided for $35.00. Clients are urged to contact the clinic of their choice to verify availability of both the children’s and adult vaccines prior to their visit. Residents may also consult with their primary care provider or a local retail outlet of their choice in order to obtain the adult 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.