Public Health Emerging Issues

March 2, 2021



  • There has been minimal influenza (flu) activity in Mesa County so far for the 2020-21 season with 0 (zero) hospitalizations due to influenza.
  • The average number of hospitalizations over the past four years in Mesa County is approximately 163 per season.
  • In looking at data from the previous four influenza seasons the 2019-20 season had the lowest number of hospitalizations (77) while the 2017-18 season had the highest (232).
  • Although the rate of influenza-related hospitalizations has decreased both locally and across the country in the 2020-21 season, flu testing is being conducted as usual.
    • Hospital labs in Mesa County have performed 2,271 flu tests this season with only two positive results (.08%).
  • Influenza activity traditionally intensifies with peak hospitalizations in our area occurring in February or March.
  • The Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) clinic has administered 1,957 flu vaccine doses so far this season. Last season, 2,110 flu shots were administered at MCPH.
  • The state of Colorado has seen 24 influenza-related hospitalizations so far in the 2020-21 season. As a comparison, during the 2019-2020 influenza season, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recorded 3,546 influenza-related hospitalizations. 
  • There have been no pediatric influenza-related deaths in Colorado so far this season.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports an unusually mild influenza season across the country for the 2020-21 season.
    • The current cumulative hospitalization rate across the U.S. is 0.6 per 100,000 population according to the CDC. 
    • By comparison in 2011-12, a low severity season, the rate was 1.6 times higher at this point in the season.
    • The CDC estimates that 193 million influenza vaccine doses were administered nationwide through January 15, 2021.
  • Public health professionals believe the reduction in influenza-related hospitalizations this season (2020-21) is a result of social distancing and sanitation measures implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. 
  • To protect yourself against influenza, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and stay away from sick people. Just like COVID-19, staying home when you start to feel sick is an important step to stop the spread of illness. 
  • It’s not too late to get your flu shot. The MCPH Clinic has flu vaccine available and cost is never a barrier.
  • Stay up to date by visiting the MCPH Flu-View page, click here for additional flu data and information.