Colorado experiencing worst flu season since 2009, hospitalizations up 20 percent

DENVER - Health officials say Colorado is experiencing its worst flu season since 2009.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that the flu in Colorado is "regional." That's the second highest level in the CDC's report. Ten states are reporting "widespread" cases, that's the highest designation for flu outbreaks.

Earlier this week, 7NEWS reported that state health officials saw a surge in hospitalizations in December for the flu.

So far this year, 448 people have been hospitalized for the flu in Colorado. That's up 20 percent from last year, at this time.

"The surge in hospitalizations due to flu is concerning," said Dr. Lisa Miller, state epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "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 25 to 64 accounted for 30 percent of all flu cases, but state health officials said this year, people 25 to 64 make up 57 percent of all cases.

It is not too late to get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control says influenza season can last into May.