El Paso News

El Paso's flu death toll climbs to 11

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - As the confirmed number of flu cases in El Paso reaches 5,000 - the Department of Public health says three more people have died as a result of the epidemic.

The latest flu victims include two men, one in his 80s and another in his 50s. The 11th death this season was reported as a woman in her 70s. All three victims had underlying medical conditions that complicated their treatment. 

So far, the youngest victims of the flu in El Paso have been a man and woman in their 50s. The remaining deaths were in El Paso's elderly population - people ranging from 70 to 90 years old. 

“As more and more people in our community come down with the flu, unfortunately the number of those who succumb to the virus also continues to rise,” said Public Health Director Robert Resendes. “We need to continue to protect ourselves and especially the elderly and those with weaker immune systems in order to help keep both numbers down.”

The number of total confirmed flu cases is already ten times higher than this time last year, with 4,916 confirmed cases in the county. 

Department officials warn that El Paso has not yet seen the peak of flu season. 

Public health officials continue to encourage all El Pasoans to get vaccinated, especially those in vulnerable population such as young children and the elderly. If you come down with flu-like symptoms you're encouraged to visit a doctor immediately so anti-viral medications can be prescribed to lessen the effects of the virus.

As always, if you're feeling sick -- stay home. The flu is easily spread by coughing and sneezing. Increased hand washing is also encouraged in order to keep the spread of the virus in our community to a minimum. 

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