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Mesa County Resident Hospitalized with Flu

Mesa County Resident Hospitalized with Flu

Early Season Highlights Importance of Flu Vaccine

Mesa County has its first hospitalized influenza case in an adult male over the age of 55.  The hospitalization comes significantly earlier in the season compared to the 2018-19 flu season which didn’t see a hospitalization until November.  

“We are seeing flu circulating in the community,” Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) Executive Director, Jeff Kuhr says.  “A flu shot is your best protection against the severe complications that can come with the virus.” Influenza killed about 61,000 people in the United States during the 2018-19 season down from a record 80,000 the season prior.

The 2018-19 MCPH Influenza Report outlines local data and some key takeaways from last season. One of the most striking takeaways was that Mesa County experienced a more severe flu season than Colorado and the United States with an extended period in February of higher rates of hospitalization.  

Flu season begins in October and goes through the beginning of May. “The early flu activity is noteworthy, but not necessarily an indication of how severe of a season we can expect this year,” explains Kuhr. “It’s an important reminder that now is the time to get your flu shot.” It takes two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective, so MCPH recommends getting a flu shot by the end of October. 

Mesa County Public Health’s clinic offers the influenza vaccine and serves all patients regardless of ability to pay. Walk-ins welcome.

Flu Clinic Information

  • When: Saturday, October 19th from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. (open to all ages)
  • Where: 510 29 ½ Road
  • What to bring:  ID and insurance card 
  • Questions?  Call 970-248-6900

To read more about the 2018-2019 flu season in Mesa County click here.

MCPH 2018-2019 Influenza Report

MCPH 2018-2019 Influenza Report

117 hospitalizations during unusually long 2018-2019 flu season

Mesa County saw a longer than usual influenza, or flu, season last year. The season was unique in that it had two waves of flu that impacted residents, including a change in the dominant strain of the virus, midway through the season. 

In total 117 people were hospitalized during the 2018-2019 season, which was down from the previous year. During the record 2017-2018 season, there were 232 people in Mesa County hospitalized with the flu.

As part of our continuing effort to use data to inform decisions and policy, Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has compiled the 2018-2019 Influenza Report. The report outlines not only the number of cases and demographic information but also includes some key takeaways, and public health recommendations, such as the need for expanded access to primary care to reduce the number of emergency department visits due to influenza. Other public health recommendations in the report are to:

  • Bolster Mesa County’s healthcare system to be better prepared for a severe flu season by enhancing cross-sector partnerships and further improving infection prevention efforts throughout the county
  • Provide public education on the seasonal flu shot, especially to at-risk groups (pregnant women, adults over 65 years, and anyone with an underlying medical condition).

Mesa County Public Health is also working to inform our community about influenza.  The ‘stomach flu’ is oftentimes used in casual conversation to describe the flu. In reality, influenza is a respiratory illness. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and muscle or body aches.  Sometimes, nausea is associated with the influenza virus, but it’s more common in children than adults.

An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against the flu. Among adults in Mesa County, about 40% report getting their annual flu shot. The Healthy People 2020 goal is for 70% of adults to report receiving the yearly flu vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. Mesa County Public Health’s clinic offers the influenza vaccine and serves all patients regardless of ability to pay. Walk-ins welcome.

Flu Clinic Information

  • When: Saturday, October 19th, 2019, from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. (open to all ages)
  • Where: 510 29 ½ Road
  • What to bring:  ID and insurance card
  • Questions?  Call 970-248-6900