Colorado has seen a recent spike in flu cases, and laboratory testing and outpatient visits indicate that the state has entered a period of more intense influenza activity, according to a news …
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Colorado has seen a recent spike in flu cases, and laboratory testing and outpatient visits indicate that the state has entered a period of more intense influenza activity, according to a news release from the Tri-County Health Department.
More than 570 people have been hospitalized since the flu season started in early October, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Of these, 25 percent are older than 65, and 26 percent are younger than 18.
Based on similar patterns from previous seasons, influenza activity is expected to continue to escalate, with peak activity from now through February, according to the Tri-County news release. 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 who spent time at home during the holidays.
“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,” Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., executive director of Tri-County Health, said in the release. “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 provides no-cost or low-cost flu vaccinations for those on Medicaid or who are uninsured at numerous clinics in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties.
For more information, go to 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 health care 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.
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