EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The first flu-associated death of the year was announced today as one person died as a result of complications related to the influenza virus.
According to a City of El Paso press release, this is the first flu-related death in the El Paso area and involved a man in his 70’s who had underlying medical conditions.
“Although this gentleman was a senior, the majority of cases being seen this year are children. Parents are encouraged to ensure that their children’s flu immunizations are current because the vaccine is the number one defense against the virus and the flu continues to circulate in our area,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director in the release.
Officials say the flu shot continues to be offered to children at the three DPH Immunization Clinics and to those who are 18 years and over via the Vaccinations for Health Program.
This month’s outreach events at the El Paso Fire Department Safety, Health & Outreach Center located at 5415 Trowbridge Drive are scheduled for:
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Reports indicate that between Oct. 1, 2019 and Jan. 4, 2020, the Epidemiology Program has recorded 3,534 cases of flu in El Paso. That is a 47 percent increase in the number of cases as compared to the same time during the 2018-2019 season. A total of 2,407 cases of flu were recorded up to the first week in January of 2019.
Experts suggest that in addition to the vaccine, people can help stop the spread of illness and reduce their chance of catching the flu by washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if they’re sick.