Explain the truth behind flu numbers in Colorado


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Explain the truth behind flu numbers in Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Centers for Disease Control and the weekly report on Prevention of bird flu have come out and this year, Colorado seems to be devastated.

As soon as you walk into the El Paso District Health Department, you will be greeted with tissues, hand sanitizers and face masks.

That's because they want to prevent people from becoming flu statistics. The CDC reports 84,000 Americans have been hospitalized in three months.

Haley Zachary, an El Paso County disease expert, said the figures clearly showed we were in the middle of the flu season.

Even so, the number is still a bit high. Of the 84,000, 1,200 hospitalizations are here in Colorado. We asked Zachary to explain what needed hospitalization.

"People who go to the ER for influenza and are tested there will not be counted for the amount of influenza unless they are hospitalized and are required to stay there," Zachary said.

But some people with flu don't go to the hospital at all. So, how do you calculate the flu cases?

"The numbers are tracked by the CDC in several regions of the country but not here locally," Zachary said.

That is, there are actually more cases of flu, but the health department doesn't know it.

Zachary said the flu in El Paso County was not as bad as last year and they believed it was because of the H1N1 type and the vaccine that was suitable.


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