Freedom New Mexico
A Roosevelt County infant girl has died of the H1N1 flu, according to a news release from the state Department of Health.
Late Thursday night, the department reported the death of the baby and a 5-year-old girl from Sandoval County.
According to the release, neither child had a chronic medical condition.
No other information was available on the Roosevelt County infant.
Channel 4 News in Albuquerque was reporting the 5-year-old was a student attending Rio Rancho Elementary School. Channel 4 said an e-mail was sent to district employees saying the girl was the daughter of a district employee.
The cases bring the total of this year’s H1N1 deaths in New Mexico to seven. The other five deaths were adults, four of whom had other medical problems, according to the release.
Roosevelt County Emergency Management Director Keith Wattenberger said Curry and Roosevelt County officials have been working together for months to plan for a possible swine flu pandemic, but so far, numbers of cases have not escalated beyond those of a regular flu season.
“So far we have not seen anything spike, and that’s a good sign,” he said.
The Department of Health said it expects to receive the first shipment of H1N1 vaccine in mid-October.
The first group the Department of Health is advising to get vaccinated are pregnant women, household members and caretakers of infants less than 6 months old, children 6 to 59 months of age, children 5 to 18 years with certain chronic health conditions that increase their risk of complications, and healthcare workers and emergency medical service personnel with direct patient care.
Right now, Wattenberger said, the big thing is for people to wash their hands frequently and, if they’re sick, stay away from others until the fever had broken for 24 hours. If individuals begin feeling H1N1 symptoms, he said, they should call a doctor for advice instead of going to the emergency room or doctor’s office immediately.
People can call the police department, where he works, for more information.
Also, Wattenberger said people who don’t have anyone to run errands for them while they’re sick can call his office and resources are available to help them get what they need.
As for the plan for handling the flu, he said the most notable aspects are early reporting and making sure people know how to prevent the spread of H1N1.
Wattenberger said he believes local communities have enough of a network to monitor the amount of H1N1 cases and phase in plans as needed.
Information and services: Roosevelt County Office of Emergency Planning at 356-4404
Symptoms of swine flu include:
• sore throat
• body aches
• possible diarrhea and vomiting
• Wash hands frequently
• Cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough
• Get vaccinated
• If you’re sick, stay home until 24 hours after the fever breaks.
(Source: New Mexico Department of Health)