The number of people hospitalized with the flu spikes in the last few weeks. The El Paso County Department of Health and Environment warns this jump in cases is probably just the beginning of the peak flu.
The recent spike is so significant that Colorado is now one of only 5 states designated as having "widespread" influenza activity, according to the Health Department.
Statewide 77 people have been hospitalized due to the flu. At this time last year, only 48 had been hospitalized, according to the El Paso County Health Department.
In El Paso County, 21 people have been hospitalized, 13 of them since Christmas. In Pueblo 9 have been hospitalized, with 4 admitted in the last 3 days.
The peak flu season is more severe now than it was this time last year.
“As of January 4, 2005, a total of 21 individuals have been hospitalized with influenza in El Paso County, significantly more than the 3 hospitalized flu cases reported at the same time in 2005,” said Dr. Sonja Anic, direct of Communicable Disease Program at the El Paso County Health Department.
The doctor says the number indicates a clear in crease in flu activity. The number of hospitalized cases is expected to continue to increase, with the peak season lasting through February. Dr. Anic says it is not too late to get a flu shot because it only takes 2 weeks for immunity from the flu.
For more information on the flu and where to get a flu shot:
www.elpasocountyhealth.org and click on “Beat the Bug”
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