Sep 23, 2009 7:34 AM by Associated Press
The number of flu-related hospitalizations is on the rise and the official flu season is just beginning.
State health figures show that at least 171 people statewide were hospitalized with flu-related illnesses from Aug. 30 through Saturday. Most of those cases were thought to be the swine flu. Seasonal influenza tapers off in the spring and doesn't reappear until late fall.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recorded fewer than 40 flu-related hospitalizations the week ending Sept. 5. There were nearly twice as many the following week and about 60 last week.
Hospitalizations are the state's main indicator of the flu's occurrence, but they represent a small fraction of actual cases because most people don't seek treatment.