LANL: New Mexico faces worst flu season in a decade | KOB 4

LANL: New Mexico faces worst flu season in a decade

Christina Rodriguez
Updated: January 14, 2020 11:08 AM
Created: January 14, 2020 11:06 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Experts at Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) say this is the worst flu New Mexico has seen in a decade. 

The most recent report from the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) shows the flu is hitting hard all across the state. 


"We're just seeing elevated flu activities kind of everywhere," said Dave Osthus, who created last year's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) flu forecast model. "And the main reason for that is influenza A and influenza B, two different strands of influenza, are sort of ramping up at the same time." 

That's not typical. Osthus explained the "A" strand hits earlier in the flu season, then comes the "B" strand. For New Mexico, the elevated levels of the flu hit over the holidays. 

"One complication with that is that we typically see higher measured levels of flu activity over Christmas due to the difference in how people seek healthcare behavior as well as healthcare access over that time," Osthus said. "So it's unclear at the moment if the really high levels of flu activity in New Mexico is an artifact of reporting or if it's real." 

According to the NMDOH, the most recent data shows six adult deaths from the flu, and one child death. Hospitalizations have increased for children with the flu since November. 

Experts say that New Mexicans can still protect themselves from the flu – it's not too late to get a flu shot

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