Flu hospitalizations on the rise

DENVER — The number of people who have been hospitalized because of the flu is on the rise, state health officials said Tuesday.

This season 448 people have been hospitalized, compared to 373 last year, said Mark Salley of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“The surge in hospitalizations due to flu is concerning,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Lisa Miller. “We normally see higher flu numbers among the young and elderly, but this year there are more cases among people ages 25 to 64. We encourage anyone who hasn’t been immunized this year to get a flu vaccination now.”

Last year, people ages 25 to 64 accounted for 30 percent of all cases; right now those people make up 57 percent of all cases.

The best way to protect yourself is to get immunized, Salley said.  It takes about two weeks after the vaccination for your body to build the antibodies to protect you from flu.