Bad Flu Hits the Valley
Health officials in the Roaring Fork Valley are warning people to be wary of the flu as a certain strain is being seen in the Valley and throughout the country. Also, flu season has arrived earlier and with a bigger punch than last year.
The strain of flu circulating is called “H3N2” and, for the most part, a flu shot doesn’t protect you from it. This year’s flu shot has defense against other strains. But, it is only slightly effective with H3N2.
Pitkin County Public Health Director Liz Stark says her office has seen a significant spike of cases in the last two weeks. But, so far, there have been no hospitalizations from flu.
“This particular strain of the flu is hitting the very young and the older population hardest this year. In other parts of the state and the country, the hospitalizations that have occurred, most of them are occurring in children less than six months of age or in people over age 65. So, at the first sign of those symptoms, it’s a good idea to go to your physician or health care clinic and get tested.”
She recommends washing hands vigilantly and staying home from work. Some anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu can minimize symptoms and decrease the duration of the flu.