Colorado is being hit with a rise in cases of upper respiratory illness this year, and doctors are warning that without treatment, patients could suffer for weeks once they’ve contracted the virus.
Dr. John Torres, Medical contributor for KUSA in Denver, says that hospitals in Colorado are seeing a higher than normal number of cases of a virulent flu that starts out like a common cold but lingers for weeks once taking hold.
“After a few weeks, in some people, it can turn into more of a bacterial infection because their immune system has been suppressed a little bit, which is when we will move in with some antibiotics,” Torres told Channel 9 News. “But for the most part, it’s just the common cold virus that floats around this time of year, but it lingers for a long time.”
Doctors say that if the flu continues for longer than a week, sufferers should get to a doctor because a round of antibiotics may be necessary.
To avoid the flu, doctors suggest that people keep their hands clean, avoid touching their faces after being around others, and keep workspaces sanitized.
Colorado isn’t alone. The Centers for Disease Control already reported that this flu season has become “severe” and has exceeded the national baseline, hitting the epidemic threshold of 6.8 percent.
“Though we cannot predict what will happen the rest of this flu season, it’s possible we may have a season that’s more severe than most,” director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Tom Frieden said during a press conference in December.
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