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Public Health Officials Report First Flu Related Death in El Paso

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The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has confirmed a male child under the age of 13 with underlying health conditions is the first flu-related death in El Paso this year. (AI) Image for illustration purposes
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has confirmed a male child under the age of 13 with underlying health conditions is the first flu-related death in El Paso this year. (AI) Image for illustration purposes
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EL PASO,  Texas— The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has confirmed a male child under the age of 13 with underlying health conditions is the first flu-related death in El Paso this year.

“We are saddened to report the death of a child, and send our deepest condolences to the family members,” said City-County Local Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza. “The best way to reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications is by getting vaccinated each year. It is extremely important that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu to protect themselves and those around them.”

Influenza (commonly known as flu) is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose throat and lungs and can result in serious complications such as pneumonia, bacterial infections and even death. 

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Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports thousands of hospitalizations due to influenza complications. High-risk groups include:

·        * Seniors 65 and older
·        * Young Children
·        * Pregnant women
·        * People with chronic health conditions

Reducing the number of flu cases will also reduce the number of flu-related hospitalizations, which in turn will help keep hospital rooms available for those with COVID-19 infections or other serious illnesses or conditions.

There are two main types of influenza viruses: Type A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. In 2023, the City reported 722 flu cases from October to December, compared to 280 at the same time the previous year. 

Individuals that receive their flu shot annually are better protected against the flu virus and will greatly reduce the risk of getting infected. The Department of Public Health administers free vaccines by appointment only from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following locations:

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·       * El Paso Community Clinic Ysleta, 110 Candelaria
·       * El Paso Community Clinic Henderson, 721 S. Mesa
·       * El Paso Community Clinic Northeast, 9566 Railroad
·       * El Paso Community Clinic Westside, 7380 Remcon

Appointments can be made by calling (915) 212-6555.

For more information about the flu vaccine, visit BePowerFlu.com or visit EPHealth.com.

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