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Doctors urge Borderland residents to get their flu shot

By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas -- A deadly flu season hits the Sun City as four people have died from flu-related illnesses, according to the Department of Public Health.

In 2013, five people died from flu.

According to the Department of Health, there were 2,444 cases of the general flu in El Paso in 2013. In 2012, there were almost 3,094 cases of the general flu in 2012 and 34 H1N1 virus cases.

The most deaths El Paso has seen in five years was back in 2009, when 17 people died from the flu, said the Department of Health.

Twenty-two-year old Rene Delgado died from the flu on Tuesday.

The Department of Health said the UTEP student had no underlying medical conditions.

Michael Jacobs, a nurse practitioner at Summit Urgent Care, said it is rare for children and young adults to die from the flu. However, he added it is not unheard of.

"Sometimes the medications can't keep up with the production of the virus and your body gets overwhelmed," said Jacobs. People not receiving flu vaccines in their younger years, they've not developed immunity."

As the flu season has not yet peaked, Jacobs urges people of all ages to do one thing this flu season.

"Everyone should get their flu shot," Jacobs said. "It [the flu] doesn't discriminate against one particular group."

Some Borderland residents KFOX 14 spoke with said they've already had been vaccinated. Others said they havent yet, but with the recent deaths they are thinking about getting vaccinated too.

"These things we don't even notice that they're going around, but you know it can happen anytime," said Joe Ramirez, an east El Paso resident. "I think it's important for everybody to get a flu shot, it's really quick to do it and it's for the benefit of everybody."

The Department of Health offers flu vaccines for children ages 6 months to 18 years for $10.

The supply of adult vaccines is limited; but the vaccines are currently available for $25 - $35.

El Pasoans can also set up an appointment for a flu vaccination through their health care provider.

 

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