For the week ending Dec. 28, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment reports that influenza is “widespread” in the state.
Twenty-five percent of 2,682 specimens from reporting laboratories tested positive for the flu, and outpatient clinics reported a higher-than-average level of patient visits. Emergency departments in Denver also are experiencing nearly four times the level of visits from people with flu-like symptoms as normal.
There have been 558 hospitalizations, but no pediatric deaths at this point.
Flu surveillance for this season began in September and will run until mid-May. Among pediatric deaths and outpatient visits, the state is also monitoring outbreaks in long-term care facilities.
So far, the level of influenza-associated outbreaks in long-term care facilities is far lower than at similar points in recent years. The rate of hospitalizations overall is not as high, with only the 2015-2016 season having a lesser rate within the past six years.
CDPHE data show that southeastern Colorado has been generally hit the hardest, with Chaffee County registering the highest rate at 45.9 cases per 100,000 people. The state’s larger jurisdictions are faring better, with Denver experiencing a rate of 13.6 cases per 100,000 people and El Paso County at 11.7 per 100,000.