NewsLocal News


Colorado has set a new record for flu-related hospitalizations and the season isn't over yet

Colorado has set a new record for flu-related hospitalizations and the season isn't over yet
Posted at 12:01 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 14:01:57-05

DENVER -- The 2017-2018 flu season has been a bad one. In fact, it's one of the worst Colorado has ever seen.

The most recent data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show that in the week ending on Saturday, Feb. 17, the state saw an additional 149 hospitalizations from the flu.

That brings the total number of flu-related hospitalizations so far this season to 3,550, the most Colorado has ever seen in a single season. 

The state reports a total of 155 flu outbreaks in Colorado this season, which is also the highest number the state has ever seen.

The majority of hospitalizations -- 57 percent -- have been people 65 years of age and older. And while just 1 percent of cases have been in children under the age of 6 months, that age group has seen the second-highest rate of incidence of flu, with 107.2 cases for every 100,000 people.

Counties with the highest concentration of flu cases include Rio Blanco, Mesa, Delta, Saguache, Rio Grande, Alamosa, Conejos, Huerfano and Pueblo counties.

The number of flu hospitalizations statewide peaked at the end of December and has been declining in the weeks since. The flu season typically starts in October and lasts through May.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded a total of 21,279 flu-related hospitalizations since Oct. 1.

The majority of hospitalizations have been the result of the H3N2 flu strain, which often leads to more severe symptoms and hospitalizations.

Though the flu shot has been less effective this year than in years past, health officials still urge people to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated.