EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A 2-year-old girl from Otero County has died as a result of a flu-related illness, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) reported Tuesday, April 11.

DOH says this is New Mexico’s first pediatric death of the 2022-2023 season. However they have identified 233 pneumonia and flu-related deaths since the start of the flu season.

“While flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory illness activity have decreased in recent weeks, all of them can cause hospitalizations and death throughout the year,” said DOH.

DOH recommends everyone 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine every season. The department has released a list of people that should consider getting the vaccine due to them being at high risk of having serious flu-related complications, or because they live with people who are at high risk.

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old 
  • Children aged 6 months through 8 years who have never been vaccinated against flu, or have an unknown vaccination history, should receive two doses of flu vaccine, administered at least 4 weeks apart 
  • Pregnant women (all trimesters), and up to two weeks post-partum  
  • People ages 50 years and older  
  • People of any age with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, lung or heart disease, and those who are immunocompromised  
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities  
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including healthcare personnel and caregivers of babies younger than six months 
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives 
  • People who are morbidly obese  

DOH also recommends the following Covid-19 safety practices:

  • Wash your hands and your children’s hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after contact with other people and before eating 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve 
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing, even if you use a tissue 
  • Maintain distance from other people and consider wearing a face covering when possible in public 
  • Stay home if you have fever and/or respiratory symptoms 
  • Ask your doctor about antiviral medicines if you seek medical care for flu. These medicines are most effective if given within two days of your symptoms starting, but may still help even after two days