We would say something like, “It’s that time of year again,” but we’d be lying.
This year’s flu season has shaped up to be something much worse than what’s typical.
As predicted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health care officials across the country are reporting a large increase in the number of flu cases they’ve treated so far this season, and northern Colorado is no different.
This past December saw 47 people in Weld County hospitalized for the flu compared with just eight in 2016. Just this week, Larimer County opened an investigation into what could be the first flu death of the season there.
In short, it’s been a bad year for the flu so far, and the worst may be yet to come. The season, which runs from October through April, tends to peak in February. So there’s a good chance things will get worse before they get better.
That’s why we implore Weld residents — and people everywhere else, for that matter — to take preventive measures to avoid becoming part of the unfortunate statistics that undoubtedly will be used to describe the severity of this flu season.
For us, that prevention starts with getting a flu shot. It’s important to remember getting a flu shot isn’t just for you; it’s for those around you. Getting a shot is the best thing you can do to prevent spreading the illness.
We know, getting one can be a pain and — as is the case this year — they aren’t always effective against the most aggressive strains. But we don’t have a lot of options when it comes to fighting a virus. In this case, flu shots are pretty much the most direct way to do so. So even considering the negatives we mentioned, the positives of a flu shot still easily tip the scales in that direction, especially in a year when the consequences that come from contracting the flu could be much more severe than in normal years.
There are other things we can do to help prevent the spread of the flu: Wash our hands a lot; use hand sanitizer; make sure to get a lot of vitamin C and zinc.
And if you do get the flu, the best thing you can do is stay home from work, school and public places like stores. It can be hard to resist the urge to try and tough it out, but it’s not worth risking exposure to healthy folks.
We realize these are precautions you’re probably so used to hearing every year that they might not even register anymore.
But this isn’t every year when it comes to the flu. We encourage Weld residents to act accordingly.
— The (Greeley, Colorado) Tribune,