Three more New Mexicans die from H1N1
Posted at: 10/21/2009 4:56 PM | Updated at: 10/21/2009 5:13 PM
By: Valerie Castro, Eyewitness News 4; Matthew Kappus, KOB.com
The New Mexico Department of Health says three more New Mexicans have died from the H1N1 virus.
A 51-year-old Santa Fe County man with health problems, a 47-year-old Valencia County woman, also with chronic health problems, and a 6-year-old Santa Fe County girl with no health problems have recently died. That brings the total number of deaths to 16 statewide.
The latest report from the Department of Health means that right now, the spread of H1N1 is not slowing down. But officials say it could peak before the end of the year.
The Department of Health is reporting that 20 percent of doctor’s visits this week are from people who have flu-like symptoms—a number that the health department says is extremely high.
The last time the state saw a bad flu season was in 2003 and 2004 when doctor’s visits for flu symptoms hit around 15 percent.
While not everyone who is sick with flu-like symptoms is being tested for H1N1, chances are they do have the illness.
“There is almost no seasonal flu circulating anywhere in the country right now,” says Dr. Mack Sewell of the Department of Health. “It's essentially H1N1. Not everyone needs to be tested. We are certainly encouraging physicians to test those that are hospitalized.”
The Department of Health says more H1N1 vaccines will continue to come into the state on a weekly basis, but it still may be awhile before the general public will have access to it. High risk people have priority to receive the vaccine.
The state Health Department says it has ordered 78,600 doses of nasal and injectable swine flu vaccine. Vaccine is arriving in small amounts and is being distributed to providers and public health offices statewide.