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Health

Hospitalizations Soared During Colorado's Flu Season

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William Brawley
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Creative Commons/Flickr

If you had the flu this season you weren’t alone in Colorado. The state logged the second highest number of flu-related hospitalizations since reporting began in the 2004.

Only the 2009-10 flu season, the year of the H1N1 pandemic, had more hospitalizations.

Between Oct. 7, 2012 and May 11, 2013, there were 1,528 people hospitalized for the flu in Colorado [.pdf]. That compares to 543 hospitalizations during the 2011-12 flu season.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports that the 2012-13 flu season began unusually early with hospitalizations peaking during the last week of December.

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Credit Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

According to the state department of health about 40 percent of the 1,528 people [.pdf] hospitalized for the flu in Colorado during the 2012-2013 season were 65 or older.

“We know seniors don’t benefit as much as we would like from immunizations, due to their naturally weakened immune systems. Despite this, it is critically important that seniors get vaccinated against influenza because research shows the flu vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe illness, including hospitalizations among seniors,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy in a statement.

This season, 5 children died from the flu in Colorado; 4 of them hadn’t been vaccinated. That’s the highest number of pediatric deaths in the state since the 2009-2010 season when 12 children died from the flu.

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