Colorado has seen a recent spike in flu cases, and laboratory testing and outpatient visits indicate that we have entered a period of more intense influenza activity. According to The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 572 people have been hospitalized to date since the flu season started in early October. Of these, 25% are seniors over age 65, and 26% are children under 18.
Based on similar patterns from previous seasons, influenza activity is expected to continue to escalate, with peak activity from now through February. This is due to exposure during holiday gatherings, from travel around the country, and from children who were exposed while school was in session but are now home.
“Colorado and Georgia have been declared by the CDC to be the states currently at the highest flu risk, so one of the best things you can for your health as we start 2019 is to get a flu shot if you haven’t already gotten yours,” states John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “People who are at higher risk of developing flu-related complications include children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with medical conditions or compromised immune systems. These people should be treated with medication when flu symptoms first begin.”
Symptoms of the flu include high fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, and fatigue. Some people may have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in children than adults. Tri-County Health Department provides no-cost or low-cost flu vaccinations for those on Medicaid or who are uninsured at numerous clinics throughout Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties.
For more information visit www.tchd.org/flu or call the Immunization hotline at 303-451-0123. To find flu vaccines at retail outlets, visit www.vaccinefinder.org or speak with your healthcare provider. In addition to getting the vaccine, health experts recommend washing your hands often, covering your sneeze and cough, and staying home if you are sick.
Tri-County Health Department serves over 1.5 million people in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. It provides over 60 programs and services including birth certificates, immunizations, food/WIC, restaurant inspections, family planning, STI/HIV Testing and infectious disease investigations. For more information, please visit www.tchd.org or follow us on Twitter @TCHDHealth or Facebook @cotchd