New Mexico among worst states for flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 25 million people have been affected nationwide this flu season. New Mexico was no exception. Local health experts said hospital admissions are increasing and they are struggling to keep up with demand for care. However, it is not too late to keep yourself healthy and prevent others from getting sick. Kathleen Fabien of UNM Children’s Hospital said, “Flu cases are much higher here in New Mexico than they have been in the past.” The CDC said New Mexico is currently one of the three states with the highest risk of flu. Other high-risk states include New York and the District of Columbia. As a pediatric nurse, Fabien said this is extremely serious for anyone with children. “We’ve had a higher capacity in terms of children being admitted to the hospital than we’ve had in the last few years,” said Fabien. “Hospitalizations are still high.” Though she said peak flu season is over, people are still at risk — especially children under five, who are at high risk of being hospitalized. Fabien said staff are doing their best to keep up. “We can’t put up the closed sign, so we just keep seeing patients,” Fabien said. Health officials say these are the three most effective ways to stay healthy for the rest of this flu season: wash your hands if you feel sick, stay home, get the flu shot get vaccinated against the flu,” said Fabien. “You can get a shot anywhere, even if you don’t have insurance.” Fabien added that 51% of people in New Mexico have received a flu shot. She said that according to the New Mexico Department of Health and Human Services, it is important to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect yourself and your children. Click on the link to find a clinic near you.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 25 million people have been affected nationwide this flu season. New Mexico was no exception.

Local health experts said hospital admissions are increasing and they are struggling to keep up with demand for care. However, it is not too late to keep yourself healthy and prevent others from getting sick.

Kathleen Fabien of UNM Children’s Hospital said, “Flu cases are much higher here in New Mexico than they have been in the past.”

The CDC said New Mexico is currently one of three states with the highest risk of flu. Other high-risk states include New York and the District of Columbia.

cdc map for flu risk

CDC

This map uses the proportion of outpatient visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness to measure ILI activity levels within a state. However, it does not measure the extent of the geographic spread of the flu within a state. Therefore, outbreaks that occur in a single city could result in the state experiencing a high level of activity.

As a pediatric nurse, Fabien said this is extremely serious for anyone with children.

“We have a [much] higher capacity in terms of children being hospitalized than we have had in recent years,” said Fabien. “Hospitalizations are still high.”

Although she said peak flu season is over, people are still at risk – particularly children under five who are at high risk of being hospitalized. Fabien said staff are doing their best to keep up.

“We can’t put up the closed sign, so we just keep seeing patients,” Fabien said.

Health officials say these are the three most effective ways to stay healthy for the rest of this flu season:

  1. wash your hands
  2. If you feel sick, stay home
  3. Get a flu shot

“It’s not too late to get vaccinated against the flu,” says Fabien. “You can get vaccinated anywhere, even if you don’t have insurance.”

Fabien added that 51% of people in New Mexico have received a flu shot. She said that was according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

NMDOH urges people to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect yourself and your children.

press the shortcut to find a clinic near you.

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