SANTA FE, N.M. — The flu is continuing its march across New Mexico.

State officials said Friday the New Mexico Health Department has investigated 21 outbreaks in long-term care facilities since October. That’s more than was reported during the entire 2016-2017 flu season.

Flu-related hospitalizations, especially in older residents, continue to steadily increase. There also have been 18 flu-related deaths and 72 pneumonia-related deaths in adults this season.

State Epidemiologist Michael Landen says there’s still time for people to get vaccinated.

In the U.S., annual flu shots are recommended for everyone age 6 months or older. Last season, about 47 percent of Americans got vaccinated, according to federal figures.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness. It can cause a miserable but relatively mild illness in many people, but more a more severe illness in others.