Respiratory disease on the rise in Colorado

Respiratory disease on the rise in Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – The number of cases of influenza, RSV and COVID-19 in Colorado has been increasing for weeks. The El Paso County Department of Public Health said all three viruses are burdensome.

The health department says there have been 49 confirmed RSV outbreaks in schools and childcare facilities across the county and more than 66 flu-related hospitalizations to date. The state health department said the rise in flu has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

“If you look at the trajectory so far, in the last month we’ve really started to see an increase in cases and how fast it’s been growing. It’s bigger than anything we’ve seen even before the pandemic,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director for infection prevention at UCHealth.

This surge in flu comes as health officials are still dealing with an early rise in RSV cases in children this fall, though they said the numbers are starting to taper off.

“I would say that RSV-related hospitalization numbers are still quite high and certainly continue to put a strain on our health care system, especially our pediatric health care system,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Children’s Hospital Colorado tells KKTV 11News they saw a drop in all three illnesses over Thanksgiving, but saw a rebound over the weekend. Doctors add that they hope that since these diseases spread earlier in the year, they will slow down earlier.

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