El Paso, TX (KTSM) — The number of flu-related deaths in El Paso has now reached seventeen, which has now matched the number of death's related to the H1N1 virus in 2009's pandemic.
The two deaths reported in the El Paso area this past week involve middle-aged men who each had at least one underlying, chronic medical condition. While the number of overall flu cases in the El Paso area continues to decline, the two recent deaths bring the total to the same number 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.
Fourteen of the seventeen flu deaths in El Paso have been related to the Influenza A H1N1 strain. In total, the heath department has confirmed 3,620 cases of the flu with 220 of those new flu cases being reported within the past week.
The El Paso Department of Public Health continues to urge the public to get vaccinated in order to prevent the spread of the virus.