Public Health Weekly Updates

Good morning to all,


We have just a few infectious disease updates to share this week. Also, with cold weather and snow in the forecast, now is a good time to winterize your car if you haven't already done so. Snow-covered roads can be dangerous in winter, and having to drive somewhere during a winter storm can be a real burden. Make sure your car is prepared for any winter storm or winter driving by servicing your car, driving safely, and packing a winter car emergency kit.



Communicable Disease Updates


Respiratory Season Status Check

In brief, from a national perspective, as of December 5:

  • Influenza-like illnesses: Increasing 
  • COVID-19: Huge increases in Northeast and Midwest. Locally, two residents have been hospitalized in the past week.
  • RSV: High. This season is looking very much like last year’s. RSV continues to go up and up on a national level.
  • Flu: Increasing quickly.


The nation is in the dead middle of the respiratory season, and all indicators are increasing.


sourceDr. Katelyn Jetelina, MPH, PhD, Your Local Epidemiologist


It's not too late to get vaccinated. It typically takes up to two weeks for vaccines to give you maximum protection, so be sure to get your seasonal flu vaccine in time to gather safely with loved ones during the upcoming winter holidays. The chart below shows the last day to get vaccinated in order to have full protection before gathering for that specific holiday.

  • Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) — Dec. 10
  • Christmas Day (Dec. 25) — Dec. 11
  • First day of Kwanzaa (Dec. 26) — Dec. 12
  • New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) — Dec. 17
  • New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) — Dec. 18.


To schedule an appointment for a flu of COVID-19 shot, please call Sara McIntosh at (303) 621-3170.


LATE BREAKING UPDATE: Multiple outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough) in schools and childcare centers have been reported to CDPHE. CDC recommends whooping cough vaccination for everyone, which is a component of the Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP) vaccine. 


Babies need 3 shots of DTaP to build up high levels of protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. Then, young children need 2 booster shots to maintain that protection through early childhood. CDC recommends shots at the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15 through 18 months
  • 4 through 6 years.


For children who should not get whooping cough vaccines, doctors can give Td instead of DTaP. However, children who get Td will not receive any protection against whooping cough. They may also have less protection against diphtheria since Td has a lower dose of diphtheria components than DTaP.


Preteens should get one shot of Tdap between the ages of 11 and 12 years to boost their immunity. Teens who didn’t get Tdap as a preteen should get one shot the next time they visit their doctor.


Women should get Tdap during the early part of the 3rd trimester of every pregnancy. By doing so, she helps protect her baby from whooping cough in the first few months of life.


All adults who have never received one should get a Tdap shot. This can be given at any time, regardless of when they last got Td. This should be followed by either a Td or Tdap shot every 10 years.


Because of age or health conditions, some people should not get certain vaccines or should wait before getting them. Consult your pediatrician or primary care provider for more information.


ECPH has DTaP available. To schedule an appointment for this or any other vaccines for children, please call Sara McIntosh at (303) 621-3170.


A note of the aforementioned abbreviations: The Tdap and DTaP vaccines help protect against the same diseases but are used for different age groups. Tdap is recommended for older children and adults, and DTaP is recommended for infants and young children.


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The opinions expressed within this newsletter are solely the author's and do not reflect the opinions and/or beliefs of the Elbert County Board of Health or other departments or employees of Elbert County Government. The content here should not be taken as medical advice and is for informational purposes only. Because each person is so unique, please consult a healthcare professional for any medical questions.

Dwayne Smith, MEd, MCHES®, CPST

Director, Elbert County Public Health

75 Ute Avenue

Kiowa, CO 80117

(303) 621-3202