MCPH releases 2017-2018 flu report

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has released “Influenza in Mesa County, 2017-2018,” a report that details flu data and information from last year’s flu season. Click here to view the report.

“This report highlights how severe the 2017-2018 flu season was in Mesa County. It was our worst flu season on record, since we started tracking hospitalizations during the 2004-2005 season,” MCPH Epidemiology Program Manager Heidi Dragoo said. “We use this data, and data from previous flu seasons, to identify patterns and trends, as well as to inform our residents about the state of health in our community.”

The report focuses on data from the first week of October through the first week of June, finding:

  • Hospitalizations due to flu in Mesa County peaked during the first week of 2018, when 32 of the 232 (14 percent) total hospitalizations occurred.
  • Fifteen outbreaks were reported during the 2017-2018 season, compared with 7 outbreaks during the 2016-2017 season.
    • Eighty-seven percent of those occurred in long-term care facilities.
  • The majority of flu hospitalizations (67 percent) occurred in residents ages 65 and older.

“One of the interesting things about this report is the ‘Hospitalized Flu Cases by Flu Season’ table. It details several important data pieces from recent flu seasons including the week of our first hospitalized case, the number of weeks we spent in widespread flu activity – when at least half of the regions in the state were experiencing an outbreak of flu, and our incidence rate – which reflects the number of new cases of flu per population during the season, so we can compare our rate to the rates of other communities,” Dragoo said. “It’s powerful to look at the data and understand how an illness has affected our residents and our community and what we can do to inform our own practices at public health.”

MCPH has already begun monitoring influenza for the 2018-2019 season. No hospitalizations due to flu have been reported for the 2018-2019 flu season in Mesa County at this time. Residents are encouraged to visit health.mesacounty.us to stay up-to-date on flu activity through June.

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