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