Pueblo County announces its first flu hospitalization

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Flu season is picking up steam in Colorado, with more hospitalizations being reported.

The most recent case is in Pueblo County, which announced the county's first hospitalization of the still-young season.

"This first hospitalized flu case confirms flu is circulating in the Pueblo community,” said Jody Carrillo, division director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. “Now is a good time to get the flu vaccine as the vaccine takes about two weeks for protection to set in."

The patient is a child, the health department confirmed.

El Paso County had a month start on Pueblo County, announcing its first two hospitalized cases in late October. 11 News previously reported that the county was forecasted to see a spike in illnesses between Thanksgiving and the second week of January.

The 2016-2017 flu season saw the largest number of hospitalized flu cases in Pueblo County in five years. (Note: 2017-2018 numbers weren't available) The health department urged residents to take every precaution to stay healthy, or to avoid spreading the virus if taken ill.

"When you experience symptoms of the flu, stay home until 24 hours after your fever is gone without the help of fever-reducing medicines,” Carrillo said.

Symptoms of the flu include:

- Fever (usually high)
- Headache
- Tiredness (can be extreme)
- Cough
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Chills and fatigue
- Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

Symptoms tend to come on suddenly.