Flu Vaccine

The flu epidemic was especially deadly last year. And our region was no exception. Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died in the U.S. from the flu virus last season, including a record high of 180 children.  

Colorado Has Yet to Hit 'Peak Flu'

Dec 16, 2015
Carol E. Davis / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The number of flu cases is beginning to tick up in Colorado. In the latest report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 12 people have been hospitalized for influenza since reporting began in Oct. 2015. The previous two seasons were moderately severe, so this slow start is welcomed by health officials.

“We really can’t say a whole lot about why the flu season does what it does,” said state epidemiologist Lisa Miller.“Last year [2014] we had a relatively early and severe flu season.”

Almost 1,300 Coloradans Hospitalized For Flu

Jan 1, 2015
Grace Hood / KUNC

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared this week that flu and pneumonia deaths have reached “epidemic” levels for the year – and Colorado is no different.

Almost 1,300 people in Colorado have been hospitalized for the flu so far this season. Two children have died. These numbers are not the worst in the nation, but they continue to climb. In order to reach an epidemic threshold, flu and pneumonia deaths must account for 6.8 percent of the total nationwide fatalities according to the CDC.

We may be in for a nasty flu season. That's the warning out today from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is worried because the most common strain of flu virus circulating in the United States is one called H3N2. In previous years, H3N2 strains have tended to send more people to the hospital than other strains — and cause more deaths, especially among the elderly, children and people with other health problems.

Grace Hood / KUNC

As Northern Colorado residents infected with the flu begin to stream into area emergency rooms and hospitals, one fact is emerging. 89 percent of patients treated for flu symptoms did not get a shot.

William Brawley / 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.

This year's flu vaccine appears to be doing a unusually poor job of protecting the elderly, federal health officials reported Thursday.

Overall, this year's flu vaccine appears to be only about 27 percent effective for people ages 65 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

As the flu season grinds on from news cycle to news cycle, there's some flu news of a different sort. Federal regulators have approved a next-generation type of flu vaccine for the second time in two months.

The two new vaccines are the first fruits of a big government push to hasten and simplify the laborious production of flu vaccines.

As college students return to class from winter break this week, campuses around the nation are bracing for the possibility of a flu outbreak.

This year's flu season started about a month early, prompting federal health officials to warn it could be one of the worst in years. They're urging everyone to get their flu shots.

But like every flu season, there are lots of reports of people complaining that they got their shot but still got the flu. What's up with that?

Well, as Michael Jhung of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains, there are lots of possible reasons.