COLORADO SPRINGS – Just as we being the New Year, statistics from the CDC are showing Colorado as one of the states with the highest flu activity. Statistics from the El Paso County Health Department also show a spike in flu-related hospitalizations.
Jean-Luc Houlne, a physician assistant with UCHealth Urgent Care, says he’s also seeing more patients with influenza.
“We have seen a significant uptick in influenza A in Colorado Springs, particularly over the last two weeks, which does go along with CDC predictions,” says Houlne. “For this time frame from December to February we (traditionally) see an increase in influenza, which is happening currently.”
According to the El Paso County Health Department, there were fewer than five flu-related hospitalizations in the county during the first week of December, nearly 10 by the middle of the month, nearly 20 just before Christmas, and nearly 30 as of December 29th.
Houlne says, “Traditionally with influenza we do see a significant increase in hospitalizations with children and people over the age of 65, because they have a higher risk of complications. Yes it’s important for everyone to get their flu vaccine, but particular attention should be paid to children and people over the age of 65, also people with a history of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart conditions.”
As flu season begins to pick up steam, Houlne adds, “It’s definitely worth it to get your flu shot now, and it may be a good New Year’s resolution for people to get their flu shot. It takes two weeks for your body to make antibodies to the flu vaccine so the earlier the better, but it’s definitely not too late to get it.”
On Thursday , January 3rd, UCHealth will be offering free flu shots at its Urgent Care location at 1035 W. Garden of the Gods Road beginning at 8 a.m., for as long as supplies last.
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