SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Surveillance system helps New Mexico officials track influenza

Health officials in New Mexico maintain that vaccinations are the best way to prevent contracting the flu. | File photo

The New Mexico Department of Health has developed an influenza surveillance system to monitor the yearly influenza, which is an ongoing issue for the state.

The influenza virus is different each year. It consistently causes deaths and sicknesses in New Mexico. As of today, there have been three deaths related to influenza as well as 38 deaths caused by pneumonia this year.

This is why the department has created the surveillance system; now state health officials can see changes in influenza as they happen in real time. The system includes 27 sites in a statewide network made up of student health centers, community health centers, emergency rooms, hospital emergency rooms, private medical clinics, and Indian Health Service clinics.

“Our Department has developed a comprehensive system for monitoring influenza and its impact on the health status of New Mexicans,” Dr. Retta Ward, Department of Health Secretary of Health, said. “The data collected through this system contributes to influenza prevention recommendations and policies both in New Mexico and nationally.”

Health officials in New Mexico maintain that influenza vaccinations are the best way to prevent contracting the flu.

“It’s not too late to get vaccinated against flu,” Secretary Ward said. “Each flu season is different, and it’s difficult to pinpoint when cases will peak. There are plenty of doses of pediatric flu vaccine available.”

The NMDOH has partnered with laboratories, clinics, hospitals, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop this successful surveillance system.

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New Mexico Department of Health 1190 S St Francis Dr Santa Fe, NM 87505

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