SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018

New Mexico Department of Health says doctor visits for flu are decreasing

The New Mexico Department of Health said on Wednesday that doctors are reporting a decrease in office visits for flu-related illness, despite the recent influenza-related death of a 69-year-old woman in Bernalillo County.

The NMDOH said five influenza related deaths have occurred in the 2013-2014 season, ranging from 45 to 79 years of age. Flu-like illness has decreased during the past three weeks

"As long as we have flu circulating in New Mexico, it is not too late to get vaccinated," Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward said. "All New Mexicans also can help prevent the flu and other illness by everyday actions, including washing hands with soap and water."

The NMDOH said approximately 53 percent of the state's hospitalizations for influenza were patients 18 to 64 years of age. The majority of that group, 27.1 percent, was 18 to 49 years of age. People 50 to 64 years of age made up 25.8 percent, and those 65 years and older made up 26.6 percent of people hospitalized.

Children up to 4 years of age made up 16. 2 percent of influenza related hospitalizations, and children 5 to 17 years of age made up 4.4 percent.

The NMDOH encouraged everyone 6 months old and older to receive a flu vaccination.