Mesa County has its first hospitalized influenza (flu) case in an adult male over the age of 60. The hospitalization is a reminder of all circulating viruses, in addition to COVID-19 that are impacting our healthcare system.

A flu shot is your best protection against the severe complications that can come with the influenza virus. If you haven’t yet received your annual flu shot, it’s not too late. It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to be fully effective. 

A flu shot is the first step to prevent influenza but you should also:

  • Avoid close contact.
  • Cover your mouth and nose.
  • Clean your hands frequently, and use soap and water whenever possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home if you get sick. Germs spread easily at child care, school, work, and social gatherings so it’s best to stay home when you’re not feeling well. 

In 2020, the flu season was mild, with no pediatric deaths and just 34 hospitalizations statewide. There were no reported influenza hospitalizations in Mesa County last year. Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) expects there to be a greater impact of influenza 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. 

You can monitor local flu activity on the MCPH website using the flu-view page, an easy to understand visual representation of the current activity in Mesa and surrounding counties. Current activity is at low levels, with the first cases just now being identified. Peak activity in Mesa County typically occurs in February or March.

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. Getting your annual flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine and booster offer the best protection against severe illness. You can also receive both vaccines at the same time. Mesa County Public Health’s clinic offers the influenza vaccine and serves all patients regardless of ability to pay. COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to all eligible (age 5 and older) individuals. You can schedule your appointment here

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine or flu vaccine, talk to your medical provider or local pharmacist. Mesa County Public Health nurses are also available for vaccine consultation to provide trusted, reliable information about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines to help you make an informed choice.

Call our Public Health clinic, at 970-248-6900 to make an appointment for flu vaccine, or schedule a conversation today.