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Updated: Wednesday, 21 Oct 2009, 5:13 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 21 Oct 2009, 4:42 PM MDT
SANTA FE (KRQE) - The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting three additional deaths from the H1N1 flu virus plus a sharp increase in visits to health-care providers.
New Mexico Department of Health weekly H1N1 update, Oct. 21, 2009:
Novel H1N1 influenza is the predominant strain of flu in New Mexico at this time. All positive flu tests are presumed to be novel H1N1 influenza. The Department of Health is tracking hospitalizations and deaths to determine if there is a change in the severity of the disease. The severity of illness due to novel H1N1 influenza has not changed nationally or in New Mexico from the spring.
Visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness increased to approximately 20 percent this week, up from approximately 16 percent last week. The percentage of visits to healthcare providers is higher than would be expected for this time of year. The Department tracks influenza-like illness, which is defined as fever and either cough and/or sore throat, at 27 clinics throughout the state. Influenza-like illness is the best indicator of flu activity in the state.
The Department of Health is reporting three H1N1-related deaths in the last week in New Mexico. The latest deaths are: a 51-year-old male from Santa Fe County with chronic medical conditions, a 6-year-old female from Santa Fe County without chronic medical conditions and a 47-year-old female from Valencia County with chronic medical conditions.
There have been 16 deaths related to H1N1 influenza in the state. Information about the other deaths is listed on the Department’s H1N1 Web site .
The Department of Health has ordered 78,600 doses of nasal and injectable H1N1 vaccine. Vaccine is arriving in small amounts and is being distributed to providers and public health offices statewide.
The Department of Health is encouraging the following people who are at a higher risk for developing serious complications from H1N1 to get vaccinated as soon as possible: pregnant women, household members/caretakers of infants less than 6 months old, children 6 to 59 months of age, children 5 to18 years with certain chronic health conditions that increase their risk of complications from flu, and healthcare workers and emergency medical service personnel with direct patient care.
The Department of Health is encouraging people priority groups to call their primary healthcare providers to ask if they are providing the novel H1N1 vaccine. People in the target groups without insurance or a healthcare provider, or whose provider will not offer the H1N1 vaccine, can get the vaccine from a local public health office. Call your local public health office first to check the availability of H1N1 vaccine. Public health offices are listed in the phonebook’s blue pages under state government or online at www.nmhealth.org.
Vaccine Ordered by County:
The following is a total amount of H1N1 vaccine that has been ordered for each county as of Oct. 14:
Medical Treatment for Flu-Like Symptoms
The Department of Health is recommending the following people either stay home or seek medical care if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms: people who are experiencing typical, mild symptoms of influenza and are not at higher risk for flu complications should stay home and avoid public places until they are well.
Typical, mild symptoms include fever, sore throat, and cough. People who are experiencing typical, mild symptoms of influenza and are at higher risk for complications should call their healthcare provider, a local community health center, or if they do not have a provider, call the Department of Health’s Health Alert Hotline at 866-850-5893 for consideration for treatment with antiviral medications.
People who develop severe symptoms of influenza should seek care immediately from the emergency room. Severe symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, dehydration, or decreased responsiveness.
A guide to help people determine when they need medical attention is posted at the Department’s H1N1 Web site .
Hospitalizations by County
There have been 468 hospitalizations related to novel H1N1 influenza. The hospitalizations by county are as follows
New Mexico H1N1 Information: 1-866-850-5893 or New Mexico Department of Health .
Spanish Information: 1-800-784-0394
Statewide Seasonal Flu Clinics: 1-866-681-5872 or Find a Flu Shot Clinic .
National H1N1 Information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention