Counting Flu Cases

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With the flu season right around the corner, state health officials are changing the way they track the virus. This season, only flu cases that require hospitalization will be counted as "confirmed."

Health officials say that's a more accurate way to monitor flu activity from year to year.

Last year, flu cases were considered "confirmed" when they were reported to the state health agency. Those cases totaled just over 13,000 and included the deaths of 12 children.

Department of Health chief medical officer Doctor Ned Calonge says that number is far too low and doesn't reflect what really happened.

Calonge says at least ten percent of Coloradans get the flu each year, which amounts to 400,000 people.

In Colorado last season, there were 2,392 hospitalizations from the flu---a sharp increase over the previous three years: 368 hospitalizations were reported in 2002-2003; 715 in 2001-2002; and 357 in 2000-2001, according to the state Health Department.

Click here for a link to the El Paso County Health Department & it's flu information