The swine flu virus has had a very devastating impact on Denver and throughout the country. It’s a respiratory disease that infects pigs. Scientists originally thought that this type A influenza virus doesn’t infect humans, but it is now proven that this occurs in humans and even can spread between humans. Before the summer of 2009, the Colorado Health Department has made some precautions to prevent this disease from spreading. It was reported that people who have been in some states and are having flu-like symptoms are to contact their doctors, but this didn’t help a lot.
On April 27, 2009, 40 confirmed Swine flu cases were reported in the United States, but none of them were in Colorado. By the end of April 2009, the Colorado Department of Health reported 2 confirmed swine flu cases. During the next month, Colorado was using all the state’s resources to combat this dangerous disease as Governor Bill Ritter stated at that time. But no matter what the effort, the number of swine flu cases kept increasing during that month.
During 2010, there have been a lot of conferences and summits to develop awareness of the state’s citizens. Colorado also requested a large quantity of the known anti-viral drugs “Tamiflu” and “Relenza” from the national stock pill. By the month of September, there were 170 flu-related hospitalizations as opposed to 0 cases in the same month of 2008.
The 2010-2011 season, health officials said, has been much lighter then the previous season. According to doctors and experts, this decrease is due to the vaccines as well as the immunity development from exposure. Officials also have reported that only 3 people were killed by this disease and more than 135 hospitalized since October 1, 2010 compared to 69 deaths and 2,041 hospitalized cases during the 2009-2010 season.
According to many experts, the strategies that Colorado has applied have worked well and led to this decrease. Public awareness has played a major role in decrease in this pandemic disease. Dr. Michelle Barron, medical director for infection control at the University of Colorado Hospital, has said that pandemics are a normal occurrence and come every so often. The last flu pandemic took place during the 1968-1969 flu season. According the National Center of Disease Control, 28 people have died this season in the US.
Regardless of the huge decrease in the death cases by the swine flu virus, officials and doctors are still encouraging people to take vaccines in order for them to be able to fight this disease.