Two more flu deaths reported in Oklahoma

The New Year’s Weekend Experience You’ll be Talking About Forever

The Department of Public Health and Human Services said Thursday the number of cases is up slightly compared to this time a year ago.

Widespread activity is the highest level of flu activity.

The flu season in El Paso runs from October to May, generally peaking in January and February.

Officials say flu activity began earlier this season than usual. Irena Kenneley, associate professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University, explains what the news means and why it's important for Americans to receive their annual flu vaccine.

Although the county has plenty vaccine to go around, Thompson said it seems that fewer people are getting flu vaccinations this year. In addition, they say medical staff can wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub - and keep all surfaces clean and disinfected.

Glenda Perez made sure her two young children got their flu shots.

Last year, the US flu vaccine was about 42 percent effective.

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The health department is encouraging residents to call the city's 2-1-1 number to find a flu-vaccine provider.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills and muscle aches. They say there are other methods of stopping spread of the flu, such as having sick workers stay home, or keeping them away from patients.

Brzezny said people with asthma, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and people over 65 are among those who are at higher risk. "Even if the vaccine may not prevent every case of influenza, the evidence shows that getting a flu shot still can prevent severe illness and hospitalization".

Burton said that's not good for avoiding flu and infections, as the germs from the facial tissue are transferred to the inside of the pocket or the sleeve, and can be picked up again by touching those places afterwards.

"They've had it since, like, three months ago", Perez said.

MCMC said "although many of our staff are fortunate to enjoy excellent health, even healthy individuals can get very sick from the flu and spread disease to others" as the basis for its flu shot/masking protocol.

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