Santa Fe, N.M. – Northern New Mexico is currently experiencing a surge in confirmed cases of the influenza virus.
Over the last 30 days, CHRISTUS St. Vincent has seen 124 confirmed cases of the flu and the incidence is rising. Influenza, although common, can be a serious illness; especially for those who are greater than 65 years of age, or younger than five, and for those who are pregnant or have chronic medical conditions such asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease. If your symptoms include fatigue, fever, headache, along with major aches and pains, you probably have the flu. Bedrest, drinking plenty of fluids, and Tylenol for your fever are the standard remedies. If the symptoms get worse, it is wise to seek care from your doctor or at one of our local urgent cares.
Due to the influx of serious flu cases, CHRISTUS St. Vincent hospital and Emergency Department are currently operating at full capacity as are nearly all other New Mexico hospitals. With this surge of patients in our Emergency Department, patient wait times may be much longer than normal, especially for routine care like flu evaluations. As always, patients will be seen based on the severity of their condition and not based on their time of arrival.
It is important to note that critical emergencies will always be accepted by the CHRISTUS St. Vincent Emergency Department. CHRISTUS St. Vincent is also working in close partnership with the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County to ensure we are providing the best coverage and meeting the needs of our community during this flu outbreak.
Additionally, due to the possible risk of increased transmission of disease, children under the age of 12 are not allowed to visit patients in the hospital during the flu season and we are asking that all visitors experiencing flu- like symptoms refrain from entering the hospital unless you are seeking emergency care.
Do What You Can to Prevent Infection
The best treatment of a cold or the flu is to avoid it in the first place. Wash your hands, use sanitizer, and get plenty of rest. If you haven’t already received a flu vaccination, you are encouraged to do so. As long as flu season isn’t over, it’s never too late to get vaccinated. Again, if you think you have the flu and symptoms are worsening, we would encourage you to seek care from your local doctor or an urgent care.