Colorado reports 6 more deaths from H1N1 flu
Ryan Summerlin October 21, 2009
DENVER (AP) – Six more people have died from the flu in Colorado, bringing the total this season to 20, health officials said Wednesday.
All 20 deaths are likely from swine flu, also known as H1N1, said Lisa Miller, a division director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“Based on our lab surveillance, we are not seeing anything but H1N1,” Miller said.
The six new deaths were reported to the department last week and made public Wednesday. The department doesn’t disclose any information about the victims except their age range.
Miller said the swine flu appears to be peaking in the Denver metro area but may still be rising on the Western Slope.
Mesa County, which includes Grand Junction, the largest city on the Western Slope, has reported 15 cases of flu this season, all in the past two weeks.
Statewide, 183 more people were hospitalized with all types of flu last week, including 59 confirmed cases of swine flu, officials said.
That brings the total number of hospitalizations for all types of influenza to 1,058 since Aug. 30, including 578 confirmed swine flu cases.
More than 48 percent of those hospitalized with all types of flu in Colorado were 24 and younger, and seven of the 20 deaths were in that group.
Nationwide, swine flu is worst in that age group as well, accounting for more than half the hospitalizations for that strain.
Miller said the state is still receiving shipments of swine flu vaccine but not as much or as fast as officials would like.
State officials plan to unveil a new Web site Thursday to help people determine how severe their flu symptoms are and whether they should see a doctor.