LOCAL & STATE SITUATION
Four people were hospitalized for influenza in Mesa County in November. Three of these cases were in pediatric patients. Statewide, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports 517 flu-related hospitalizations since the beginning of October. The hospitalizations are a reminder of all circulating respiratory viruses, including flu, COVID-19, and RSV, that are impacting the healthcare system in Mesa County and across Colorado right now.
The best source of protection from severe complications is the flu vaccine. Keep in mind, every year the flu changes, so an updated version of the vaccine is needed to ensure the body develops immunity to the most recent strain of the virus. It’s not too late to receive a flu shot. The flu vaccine is still available at Mesa County Public Health for anyone in the community ages six months and older. Call 970-248-6906 to schedule an appointment. It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to be fully effective. Other prevention methods include staying home if sick, washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
Influenza, or flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, body aches, and headache. Historically, peak activity for the flu in the Grand Valley starts in mid-February, but it is possible to see cases outside of that timeframe. Mesa County experienced one of its mildest flu seasons during the 2021-2022 season, with 18 hospitalizations.