Oct 15, 2010 10:34 PM by Stefanie Boe

State confirms first cases of the flu

It's time to really consider getting the flu shot--the state of Colorado has just confirmed the first three cases of the flu in our state.

This year, the CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine.

The flu typically peaks in late fall and early winter, so it's here a bit early this year.

State leaders didn't say which part of the state had confirmed cases.

The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season.

The best time to receive a flu shot is October, November, and into December.

If you're not able to get the shot at your doctor's office, check with your local grocery store or drug store. Even the Pikes Peak Library District is offering them this year.

In addition to getting vaccinated, Coloradans should take preventive measures such as staying away from sick people and washing their hands to reduce the spread of germs. People who are sick with flu should cover their cough, wash their hands frequently and stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.

Low-cost flu vaccine is available through the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC), which offers flu vaccine to children ages 6 months through 18 years who have no insurance, are enrolled in Medicaid, or are Alaskan Native or Native American. This program is available at participating physician offices. In addition, local public health agencies provide the VFC vaccine for eligible children and children who have less than adequate health insurance.

Last flu season, there were a total of 2,041 flu-related hospitalizations in Colorado. Sixty-nine deaths resulted from flu in Colorado last flu season, 12 pediatric and 57 adult. Of the 69 deaths, 84 percent had underlying medical conditions.




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