According to an independent report released today by Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) and Immunize Colorado, 27,253 Coloradans were hospitalized or visited an emergency department (ED) for flu in 2019, resulting in hospitalization and ED charges amounting to over $465 million. Of these cases there were 95 deaths, 45 of which occurred in people 65 years or older. And the burden of influenza doesn’t just fall on our state’s older population; in the same year, over 14,000 children ages 0 - 19 went to an ED with the flu, and total ED and hospitalization charges for this age group totaled $157 million alone.
Prepared by pediatricians and researchers from the Department of Epidemiology at Children’s Colorado, the second installment of the 2020 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Report examines 2019 data on influenza in Colorado. The November report draws on Colorado Hospital Association inpatient and emergency department data to reveal the health and economic burden influenza puts on Colorado communities. The report also examines influenza hospitalization and ED cases, rates and charges for Coloradans by race and ethnicity, finding that rates are highest among Native American, Black and White Coloradans.