Public Health Emerging Issues – March 6, 2018

 

MESA COUNTY FLU HOSPITALIZATIONS INCREASE IN CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN FIVE

  • Since Feb. 26, hospitalizations due to flu in children younger than five increased by 26 percent (30% of total hospitalizations.)
    • Children younger than five years usually need medical attention if they become sick with the flu.
    • A total of 114 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported nationwide, this flu season. One pediatric death occurred in Colorado. No pediatric deaths due to flu have been reported in Mesa County, this flu season.
    • Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has plenty of pediatric flu immunization available. Cost won’t be a barrier – anyone who wants a flu immunization can get one at MCPH.
  • Flu continues to affect all Mesa County resident with eight new flu hospitalizations reported during the weekend. Since Oct. 1, 2018, 203 hospitalizations have been reported due to flu.
  • Hospitalizations due to flu in the 55 years and older population have decreased, but they still make up the majority of hospitalizations, accounting for 70 percent during the past week.
  • Flu season runs through May, so it isn’t too late to get your flu immunization.
    • Although the flu immunization for this season is only 36 percent effective, it’s proven to reduce the severity of symptoms related to flu.
    • Getting your flu immunization not only protects you, but those around you who are too young or are unable to get immunized.
  • Mesa County Public Health is offering flu immunization by walk-in at our clinic, 510 29 ½ Road in Grand Junction, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. We serve all patients, regardless of ability to pay.
  • Stay up-to-date on flu information in Mesa County by following our Daily Flu Update, here.

 

MCPH IS OFFERING SHINGRIX FOR HEALTHY ADULTS 50 YEARS AND OLDER

  • Mesa County Public Health is offering shingles immunization (Shingrix) to healthy adults 50 years and older.
  • Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash that can lead to severe nerve pain that can last for months or years after the rash goes away. About one in three people in the U.S. will develop shingles in their lifetime. It’s more common in older adults.
  • Shingrix reduces the risk of shingles and complications due to shingles by more than 90 percent in people 50 years and older.
  • Healthy adults 50 years and older should get two doses Shingrix separated by two to six months.
    • You should still get the immunization if you’ve had shingles, are unsure if you’ve had chickenpox or if you’ve received the Zostavax immunization.
  • Shingrix can also prevent future occurrences of shingles if you’ve had it in the past.
  • Call MCPH at 248-6900 to make an appointment to receive you Shingrix immunization and to talk about insurance coverage and/or payment options.

 

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