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David Morgan
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First Flu Cases of the Season Reported in New Mexico

October 24, 2017 - Influenza Surveillance - Alert

Department of Health Recommends Flu Vaccination for Everyone 6 Months & Older

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports today the first confirmed flu cases of the 2017-2018 season in the state including one death suspected to be flu-related.

Those diagnosed include an 82-year-old man from Bernalillo County who was recently hospitalized. The man is linked to an early season flu outbreak at a healthcare facility where there are four additional confirmed cases including one death. NMDOH is currently investigating.  Last flu season, there were 17 facility-related flu outbreaks identified.

“Now that flu season in New Mexico has started, I want to remind New Mexicans about the importance of getting their annual flu shot,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “Flu vaccination is the single best way to protect you, your family, and the most vulnerable community members, such as those residing in long-term care facilities, from flu and its complications.”

The Department of Health recommends that everyone six months of age and older get flu vaccine each flu season, especially people in the following groups because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Pregnant women (all trimesters), and up to two weeks post-partum
  • People ages 65 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

People in these groups should also consider seeing their healthcare provider as early as possible to be evaluated for antiviral medication if they develop flu symptoms because the sooner that these medications are begun, the better the chance of preventing serious complications. People who have the flu may have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Remember that to avoid catching the flu or passing it on to others, everyone should wash their hands frequently, cover their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and stay home when ill.

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, hospitals, and public health offices, as well in some worksites and schools. The New Mexico Department of Health encourages those with health insurance to contact their healthcare provider or pharmacist about getting a flu vaccine. NMDOH offers vaccinations for people without insurance or who are otherwise not able to get vaccinated. Those with Medicaid or other insurance who go to Public Health Offices are asked to bring their insurance card.

You can find more information about flu and flu vaccines at the Influenza Surveillance section of our website.  Or visit the CDC Influenza Season 2018-2019 page to learn more.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.


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