DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is experiencing the worst flu season since 2009, especially for young adults.

This year, strain of flu being seen is the same as the H1N1 virus.

Doctors say this is the first time they’ve seen this strain in Colorado in such high numbers.

A large number of those hospitalized are young adults.

“It is concerning, we are seeing a lot of people ill already,” said Dr. Lisa Miller.

Miller is the state epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health.

She says so far this year the number of hospitalizations has jumped to 448, more than 50 cases higher than this time last year.

“This is the most we’ve seen since 2009,” said Miller.

Also troubling to doctors is the ages of those affected.

“Typically we see the very highest rates among the very young and very old,” said Miller.

This year people aged 25 to 64 make up 57 percent of all cases, a huge increase compared to last year where number was only 30 percent.

It’s something they saw back in 2009 when H1N1 first started getting people sick.

“That’s when we had our pandemic. We had a lot of illness because that was the first time it had been seen,” said Miller.

Flu season hasn’t peaked yet according to Miller, but there is some good news.

“The match between the vaccine and the circulating strain is good,” said Miller.

Doctors say getting vaccinated is a key protection that can potentially save a life.

“We want to make sure that people realize the flu is out there and its circulating and it can be a very serious disease. The best thing you can do is get vaccinated,” said Miller.

After getting vaccinated it takes one week to be fully protected.

Doctors also recommend hand washing, avoiding those sick and to stay at home if sick.


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