Infants, pregnant women hit worst by flu |

Infants, pregnant women hit worst by flu

Although the state of Colorado and Grand County have not declared an emergency, Grand County Public Health has been operating on disaster-ready mode since April 24 when the H1N1 virus was first detected, according to Brene Belew-LaDue, Grand County Public Health nurse.

Newborns to 4 years of age are being affected at a severe rate; pregnant women are also vulnerable to the disease, she said.

That is why Grand County Public Health has been focusing its vaccine efforts on these populations. Although infants cannot receive the vaccine until they are 6 months old, parents, care-givers, and their siblings can receive the vaccine to protect the newborn.

Belew-LaDue offers these tips:

• If you have an infant less than a year – avoid crowds. Keep your baby at home.

• Make sure anyone who touches your newborn has washed their hands and is not sick.

• Wash your hands and your infant’s hands often!

• The H1N1 Vaccine is safe: If H1N1 virus had infected the nation earlier in 2009, it would have been added to the regular seasonal flu shot for the 2009-2010 year, but H1N1 came after the decision for the 3 viruses that are in the seasonal flu vaccine; therefore it came out as a separate vaccine.

Call Grand County Public Health at 970-725-3288 with any questions about H1N1.