Flu cases on rise in New Mexico

The numbers continue to climb across the country and in New Mexico for the outbreak of the influenza virus.

According to the latest activity map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the course of one week the spread of cases in New Mexico went from a level of regional to widespread.  That's also the same situation for a strong majority of the country.
In tracking cases, the C.D.C. breaks the country down into ten regions. New Mexico sits in the second highest tier of patient visits for influenza. Physicians here say that about 40 percent of patients they see for the flu have the virus. All those patients affected have displayed the same full symptoms of either form of the influenza A or B strains.

Medical professionals still recommend that people who haven't gotten the flu shots to get one immediately. The cost for which are usually covered by health insurance companies. They also recommend that people should practice the usual washing of hands and avoid sick people. Doctors say the situation is expected to get worse before it gets better:

"Fortunately, thank God, no deaths that we're aware of," says Dr. John Iacuone from Lovelace Health Plan in reference to the current high number of flu cases in the state. "There's been 4 pediatric deaths in the health care region so flu is something you take seriously."

Dr. Iacuone says that some of the medication for treating the influenza virus such as Tamiflu or Relenza appear to be successful at reducing the longevity of the illness.


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