The 2021-2022 flu season is officially underway, and Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) warns that this season could be more active than last year.
In 2020, the flu season was mild, with no pediatric deaths and just 34 hospitalizations in Colorado. However, our mild flu season is likely to change this year because many of the COVID-19 precautions that also kept flu activity low in 2020, such as social distancing and mask-wearing, are more relaxed, possibly resulting in a more active flu season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is possible to get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. “You can only imagine how sick you’d feel having both viruses at once. Having one is enough to cause severe illness,” explains Allison Sanchez, Public Health Clinic Manager at MCPH. “Last year, we didn’t have a COVID-19 vaccine available for most of the flu season. This year, we have effective vaccines available for both viruses.”
Flu clinics are for people of all ages, with special considerations for children. Flu vaccination is typically covered by insurance, and if you do not have insurance, you qualify for our vaccine program, significantly reducing the cost. Don’t let cost be a barrier, we have options.
- Saturday, October 16th from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. (open to all ages)
- Saturday, October 23rd from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. (open to all ages)
- Community Services Building Parking Lot, 510 29 ½ Road
WHAT TO BRING:
- Insurance card* – if you have it, if not, don’t worry!
REGISTER AHEAD OF TIME:
We encourage you to register in advance here.
You can get the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time, and The MCPH COVID-19 vaccine clinic will also be open during flu clinics. Residents who want to get both vaccines at the same location at the same time may do so by going inside our building during the drive-thru operation for a COVID-19 vaccine. Registration for COVID-19 vaccination can be found here.
*COVID-19 vaccinations do not require identification or insurance.
Prefer an appointment?
The MCPH Clinic offers flu vaccination during regular business hours – Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. If you would like your flu vaccine outside our drive-thru flu clinic hours, an appointment is needed. We urge all residents who want to get a flu vaccine to come in and see us or give us a call at 970-248-6900 with any questions.
Public Health Emerging Issues – 9/9/2021
NOT JUST COVID-19: OTHER RESPIRATORY VIRUSES CIRCULATING IN MESA COUNTY
- COVID-19 continues to be prevalent in Mesa County and is increasing in younger populations.
- Other viruses are circulating too, including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) a very common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms.
- State health experts warn co-circulation of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV will likely put a significant strain on the pediatric health care system.
- This summer there have been an unusual number of early cases reported from Children’s Hospital Colorado.
- RSV is typically not seen at these levels until the winter months with Mesa County RSV cases historically occurring between January and April.
- MCPH is aware of increased illness in at least two child care facilities due to RSV.
- Mesa County Public Health (MC
PH) monitors outbreaks of RSV in childcares, and other educational and living facilities to aid in understanding of exclusion procedures and cleaning protocols to ensure a healthy environment.
- RSV can cause severe infection in some people, including babies 12 months and younger (infants), especially premature infants, older adults, people with heart and lung disease, or anyone with a weak immune system (immunocompromised).
- In adults and older, healthy children, RSV symptoms are mild and typically mimic the common cold.
- Symptoms usually appear four to six days after exposure and can include:
- Congested or runny nose
- Dry cough
- Low-grade fever
- Sore throat
- RSV is spread easily through fluids of the mouth and nose. The virus can live on surfaces and objects for hours. People touch the surface with the virus then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes. It can also be spread by inhaling droplets from a sneeze or cough and direct contact, like shaking hands.
- Based on state and national surveillance data, pediatric hospitalization rates for RSV are typically higher than influenza hospitalization rates and also exceeded the pediatric COVID-19 hospitalization rates seen in 2020. More information here.
Public Health Recommendations:
- Parents and caregivers should keep all children with cold-like symptoms out of childcare and school settings, even if they test negative for COVID-19.
- Stay home from work if you are feeling sick, particularly if you work in the health care, childcare, education, and long-term care industries.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Cover coughs or sneezes using your elbow instead of your hand when a tissue is not available.
- If you have a negative COVID-19 test, seek additional support from a primary care provider to see if you have another virus like influenza or RSV.
- Consider a COVID-19 and a flu vaccine to protect against severe illness and hospitalization.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, tables, handrails, and toys..
- Encourage and practice hand hygiene at home, school, and work. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub when soap and water is not readily available.
Air Quality Alert for Wildfire Smoke: Extended through 9:00 AM MDT, Saturday, September 11, 2021.
Affected Area: Mesa County
Outlook: Widespread wildfire smoke, originating largely from out-of-state wildfires.
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has issued an Air Quality Advisory through Wednesday, September 8 at 9 a.m.
Due to air quality concerns, no open burning is allowed during the advisory period.
Hazy conditions are expected due to smoke from surrounding areas. The number of tiny particles (fine particulates or PM 2.5) in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated has been in the moderate range prompting the alert.
When air quality is in the moderate or higher range, there’s an increased risk for people in sensitive groups, including people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and young children. If visibility is less than five miles due to smoke, the smoke has reached levels that can be unhealthy.
Residents are advised to take the following precautions to stay healthy:
- Avoid heavy outdoor exertion such as running or other forms of exercise.
- Keep your indoor air clean and stay inside as much as possible.
- Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution. You want to keep your indoor air as clean as possible.
- Do not vacuum. It stirs up dust in your home.
- Do not smoke tobacco in your home.
- Do not burn candles, fireplaces or gas stoves.
Even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms, such as:
- Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
Contact your health care provider if you’re concerned about your health.
For more information on air quality conditions and alerts, including real-time readings through a community-sourced monitoring system called Purple Air, visit health.mesacounty.us.
Mesa County Public Health is dedicated to limiting outbreaks of COVID-19 in our community.
This toolkit is designed for the hard-working organizations that provide housing and counseling for vulnerable populations.
It includes recommendations and guidance to help maintain a safe living situation for residents.
- Symptom monitoring
- managing exposures of COVID-19
These are recommendations only. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact MCPH via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 970-248-6900.
Ask for an Outreach and Education team member.
**This document is not intended for Long Term Care, Assisted Living Facilities, or any other facility supported by regulations from CDPHE and CMS.
Download the Toolkit here. Download the Decision Tree here.
Mosquitoes from a single trap location in the zone east of Grand Junction have tested positive for West Nile virus.
The Grand River Mosquito Control District collected the mosquitoes on August 26, 2021. The types of mosquitoes that tested positive were identified as Culex species, which can transmit West Nile virus to people.
This is the first confirmed West Nile activity in mosquitoes in Mesa County this year. This is the time of year when activity typically peaks, so it’s critical for residents to take precautions. These include:
- Use an EPA-approved insect repellent effective against mosquitoes. Look for one that contains DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, 2-undecanone, or oil of lemon eucalyptus,
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when in areas where mosquitoes are active,
- Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn; this is when mosquitoes are most active,
- Drain and remove sources of standing water on your property.
Read the full release here.
Follow The Mosquito Monitor for updated information about mosquitos in Mesa County.