ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing someone sneeze or have a coughing fit. That’s because doctors across the country say it’s one of the worst flu seasons in decades, and here in New Mexico things are just as bad.
“It’s shaping up to be potentially a bad year, and if you look at national numbers it’s even more concerning,” said Dr. Walter Dehority with UNM Hospital.
Across the U.S., people are coming down with the flu, an illness that brings on symptoms of a fever, runny nose, cough, body aches, and fatigue.
“We’re seeing kids, we’re seeing adults, we’re seeing the elderly,” said Dr. Dehority.
He said nationally, close to 3,000 people have died this year from the flu, including 30 children. In all, there have been 6 million cases.
‘We’re on pace to be potentially one of the worst flu seasons in the last several decades,” he said.
Dehority said there are two main types of flu, A and B. He says they’re seeing a lot of Type B this year, which is unusual because the B strain mutates much slower.
“We actually did not go with the flu vaccine this year, none of us did,” said Cheyenne Cruz.
Cruz is a mom out of Los Lunas and says her two-year-old son is battling the flu.
“They told us he had the flu last Monday. He had a high fever for about three days. And then after it went away for about three days, it came back,” said Cruz.
She said she regrets not getting the vaccine, but is doing what she can to help her son through the symptoms.
“We’ve just been giving him the cool rags, Vicks on his feet and a lot of love, a lot of cuddles,” Cruz said.
Dr. Dehority said if you do get the flu shot and get sick, your symptoms will be milder. According to a map from the CDC, New Mexico is currently in the red, meaning the number of cases here is high.
“The best you can do is get immunized. Contrary to popular belief, it is not too late to get vaccinated,” he said.
The best way to avoid the flu is by washing your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and stay home from work and school if you think you’re sick.
The flu season is expected to last through April.