New Mexico faces rising COVID death toll | KOB 4

New Mexico faces rising COVID death toll

Patrick Hayes
Created: November 11, 2020 06:36 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rising COVID cases aren’t the only thing state health officials are worried about. COVID deaths are also climbing. 

On Wednesday, 14 more people in New Mexico succumbed to the illness. The State Health Department said 134 people died between Oct. 26 and Nov. 8—the largest death toll since April.

"If you have an underlying condition, you should do everything possible to limit your exposure so you don't come into contact with people who have COVID or frankly any other infectious disease,” said Dr. Denise A. Gonzales, a pulmonologist at Presbyterian Hospital 

Dr. Gonzales said some COVID patients don’t know they have an underlying health condition until it’s too late. 

"I think it's important for New Mexicans to understand a lot of these are genetic predispositions for being susceptible to infections and the prevalence of diabetes is extremely high in our state,” she said.

The latest morality report was released Wednesday and includes data through Nov. 8. Based on those numbers, the most common underlying health conditions are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung disease and chronic liver disease.  

"I think also that even if you're a young New Mexican or a New Mexican that has none of these risk factors, you can easily give this disease to someone who does have these risk factors, so it's important for everyone to be equally fearful of COVID-19," said Dr. Irene Agostini, chief medical officer at UNM Hospital. 

Health officials reiterated the importance of wearing a mask, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing. 

"Because the last thing any of us would want is to give this disease to our loved ones – our grandmother, our mother, our aunt. Or a friend who was immunosuppressed or had any of these diseases,” Agostini said. 


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