COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – While the current flu season will abate in a few weeks, it could be on the already in Colorado and across the country for Influenza patients in hospitals.
According to state and national health officials, more than 21,000 in the US between October 1 and March 24 sought hospital treatment for flu symptoms with almost (19659009) of that number, 4,310 are in Colorado and 455 in El Paso County.
Among those seeking hospital treatment was Rosalyn Kriner, a former Colorado Springs teacher.
"(The flu) almost killed me," she said. "I spent several days at Penrose Hospital."  Kriner said her flu attack had been exacerbated by an already existing state of health; the combination made breathing difficult, required five blood transfusions, and forced her to take blood-thinning medications to prevent coagulation in her lungs.
"I did not get a flu shot before but they gave me Tamiflu in the emergency room," she said. "I thought I was done."
Kriner has since moved to Georgia, where she can breathe easier at lower altitudes.
Also affected was KRDO NewsChannel 13 reporter Stephanie Sierra, who missed three working days and was sick for a week.
"And I had a flu shot," she said. "But it was hard to breathe and swallow, I went to the emergency room and the next day to the emergency room, I almost had a lumbar puncture because they thought I had meningitis."
Sierra said antibiotics, over-the-counter medicines and lots of rest helped her recover.
Hayley Zachary, a public health disease expert in the El Paso district, explained why so many people were sick from the two types of flu this season.
"We do not know if it was the flu strains themselves," she said. "There could be a number of different factors – including the flu strain itself, as well as the number of people being vaccinated, the people who have not been vaccinated, or a more virulent strain that causes more to people being infected."  Zachary said she was not surprised by the record numbers for hospital care.
"There are a lot of questions about modern medicine and Western medicine, especially vaccinations," she said. "We are starting to develop a culture that questions the importance and use of vaccines."
Zachary advises people who have not yet received influenza vaccine.
"It's not too late," she said. "The season is on the wane, but you can still get infected, a shot can not stop you from getting sick, but it can help alleviate the symptoms."
At national level, most people were 65 or older or 6 years younger. An El Paso County child died of the flu this season.