Colorado flu hospitalizations grow

The state has seen increasing numbers of hospitalizations because of influenza-like illnesses – particularly along the Front Range and in Denver.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is reporting 171 flu-related hospitalizations from Sept. 5 to Sept. 19.

So far, nearly all the current influenza viruses tracked by the department are H1N1, but officials warn this could change as the flu season continues.

But even public health officials say they cannot track everyone with the flu or flu-like symptoms: there are far too many cases. Some people do not go to the doctor, and few get tested.

“For most people, the 2009 H1N1 flu is a mild, but somewhat unpleasant illness, similar to seasonal flu,” said Ken Gershman, chief of the department’s Communicable Disease Program.

For information about seasonal or 2009 H1N1 influenza, call CoHELP at 1-877-462-2911 or visit www.colorado.gov/nofluforyou.