El Paso health officials reported over 400 cases of flu in December.
Although the City of El Paso Department of Public Health reported that 444 people suffered from the sickness last month, no one died as a result. This number is up from cases of the flu reported in both October and November.
This number may seem quite staggering, but it's certainly a lot better than the numbers El Paso health officials faced in December of 2012. The city reportedly encountered a whopping 1,704 cases of the flu in that month alone. Comparatively, 2013 was a marked improvement.
Unfortunately, the Department of Public Health said they expect the number of cases to increase over the next several months. The peak months for contracting the sickness are January and February. Officials said people can do their part by washing their hands, covering their coughs, steering clear of sick individuals, and visiting a doctor.
Of course, El Paso isn't the only region of the country suffering from cases of the flu at the moment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said outbreaks are occurring in 10 states at the moment.
In addition to folks living in Texas, people in Massachusetts, Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming are currently contending with the virus. Official said there's still plenty of time to protect yourself by getting a flu shot.
While there were reportedly several cases of swine flu (H1N1) popping up around the country, the CDC said this year's vaccine should treat this strain of the virus.
"Viruses have a tendency to get established and come back in the next few years. The flu season peaks in late January and February. We do expect the flu activity to rise in the next few weeks. There's a small, narrow opportunity for those who don't have a vaccine to get it," Kanawha-Charleston Health Department's Dr. Rahul Gupta said.
He added, "This is not the kind of thing to wait until the last minute on. It takes two weeks to develop immunity."
El Paso health officials are certainly hoping to keep the flu virus under this year. Approximately 3,000 cases were reported during 2012, though it appears the number of cases in 2013 dropped considerably. Still, experts say that prevention is the best method to keep this health problem from spreading.
Are you surprised by the number of flu cases El Paso faced in December of 2013?
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