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Nearly 80 people hospitalized for the flu in Weld County as season reaches its peak

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Posted at 4:04 PM, Jan 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-14 18:16:55-05

WELD COUNTY, Colo. – The number of hospitalizations due to the flu continues to rise in Weld County with nearly 80 hospitalized so far during the 2017-2018 influenza season, according to Weld County Health Department officials.

So far, there have been 78 hospitalizations across the county, with 47 of those hospitalizations occurring during the month of December alone.

Last year, there were only eight people hospitalized during the month of December.

Since the start of 2018, there were over 22 people hospitalized in less than a week into the month of January, according to Eric Aakko, a spokesman for the Weld County Health Department.

A state epidemiologist that our partners at the Denver Post spoke with said the latest numbers suggest the season could peak sometime this month.

Experts say a nasty strain of influenza that vaccines have trouble targeting is the cause of widespread flu seasons nationwide.

The flu generally kills a few dozen people in Colorado each year. The state does not track total flu deaths in real time, but no children have died from the flu so far this season.

The Health Department recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu virus.