It’s the start of flu season and multiple cases have been reported in New Mexico, including one death.
Walter Dehority, an associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of New Mexico Hospital, said the flu is more dangerous than folks might believe.
“I think some people think of this as just a cold and not being a big deal,” Dehority said. “It actually can kill you.”
The state said a 90-year-old person in Bernalillo County has already died from the flu this season.
Dehority says it’s hard to tell how severe this season is going to be at this point, but last year’s was harsher than expected. It killed 54 people in New Mexico.
If you want to avoid getting sick, Dehority says vaccination is key.
“I liken it to a seat belt. Most people get into a car and they don’t get into a car crash and they’re fine,” he said. “But if you were in a car crash, you would be very thankful that you thought to put your seatbelt on ahead of time. So with the flu, your vaccine is your seat belt.”
UNM opened their drive-thru flu vaccine clinic last week, where folks can get their shot without having to get out of their car. And it’s free. You can also find your nearest vaccine clinic at VaccineFinder.org.
Schedule for UNM's drive-through flu shot clinic:
Saturday, Oct. 5, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
UNM Family Medicine Clinic, 2400 Tucker NE
Saturday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
UNM Northeast Heights Family Clinic, 7801 Academy Rd. NE
Saturday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
UNM Southwest Mesa Health Family Clinic, 301 Unser Blvd. NW
Saturday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
UNM Family Health Clinic, Atrisco Heritage Academy, 10800 Dennis Chavez SW
Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.