H1N1 Weekly Media Update

The Disease

The severity of illness due to H1N1 influenza has not changed nationally or in New Mexico from the spring. The illness has been mostly mild in New Mexico.

Influenza-Like Illness

The Department of Health will not know about or report every flu case in the state because not all cases are reported to the Department, and often sick individuals do not go to their doctors or get tested for influenza. The Department tracks influenza-like illness, which is defined as fever and either cough and/or sore throat, at 22 clinics throughout the state. Influenza-like illness is the best indicator of flu activity in the state.

Visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness are increasing in New Mexico and the United States. Approximately four percent of all visits to healthcare providers reported this week to the Department of Health were due to influenza-like illness. This percentage is higher than expected for this time of year. During the peak of last year’s flu season in March of 2009, approximately three percent of all visits to providers were due to influenza-like illness.

Deaths

There are no new deaths due to H1N1 influenza this week. So far this year, there have been four deaths related to H1N1 influenza in the state. The deaths are as follows: a 45-year-old female from Sierra County with end stage liver disease, a 52-year-old female from Bernalillo County with chronic pulmonary disease, a 48-year-old female from McKinley County with asthma and diabetes, and a 21-year-old female from Los Alamos County without chronic medical conditions.

Hospitalizations by County

There have been 70 hospitalizations related to H1N1 influenza. The hospitalizations by county are as follows: Bernalillo County (7), Chaves County (2), Cibola County (3), Do