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Home News Influenza Activity Continues to Increase Across New Mexico
Paul Rhien
505-470-2290 Office

Influenza Activity Continues to Increase Across New Mexico

January 30, 2018 - Immunization - Vaccination

It’s Not Too Late to Get the Flu Vaccine!

Influenza (flu) activity continues to increase across New Mexico. Since October, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) has investigated 21 flu outbreaks in long-term care facilities, which is more than was reported during the entire 2016-2017 flu season. Influenza-related hospitalizations, especially in those aged 65 and older, continue to steadily increase. There have been 18 influenza related deaths and 72 pneumonia related deaths in adults to date this season.

“It is important to remember we are still in the middle of the influenza season, and people who have not yet been vaccinated still have time to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Dr. Michael Landen, NMDOH State Epidemiologist. “It is important to remain vigilant to reduce the impact that flu is having on our communities.”

In addition to vaccination for all persons 6 months and older, NMDOH recommends good hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette as the best methods to prevent flu.

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor's offices, hospitals, public health offices, and pharmacies, as well as by many employers and some schools. NMDOH encourages those with health insurance to contact their healthcare provider or pharmacist about getting the flu vaccine.

NMDOH is providing no-cost flu shots this weekend at the KOB Pull Together Health & Wellness Fair at the Lujan Exhibit Hall at EXPO New Mexico (while supplies last). The event runs Saturday, January 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, January 28, Noon to 4 p.m. There is no charge to those attending the clinic, but everyone should bring their insurance card, including Medicaid or Medicare, with them.

Additionally, the UNM Medical Group is hosting a drive-thru flu shot clinic for community members ages nine and up Saturday, Jan. 27, from 8 a.m. – noon. The event will be held at 1801 Camino de Salud NE, near the UNM Dental Clinic on UNM’s Health Sciences Center north campus.

To find out about other flu vaccination clinics throughout the state or to see where flu vaccine is being offered, visit the HealthMap Vaccine Finder website or call 1-800-280-1618 (option 4) for the Public Health Division Immunization Program.

Individuals that become ill with flu (or flu-like symptoms) in the following high-risk categories should receive antiviral medications empirically (do not wait for a positive test):

  • Pregnant women (any trimester) and up to two weeks post-partum
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People age 65 and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and lung or heart disease and those with immunosuppression from medication or disease
  • 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 6 months
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives
  • People who are morbidly obese

For more information about flu vaccination, visit the Influenza Vaccinations section of our website.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccination and Coughing & Sneezing Etiquette.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Paul Rhien at 505-470-2290 (Office) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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