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Flu Season Intensifying With 15 Deaths Reported In Connecticut

There is still time to get a flu shot.
There is still time to get a flu shot. Photo Credit: File

Flu activity is intensifying in Connecticut, with over 1,000 cases reported and 15 deaths confirmed in what is looking to be a particularly strong flu season, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

This year’s virus has been particularly severe among people age 65 and older, with that age group accounting for 70 percent of all patients who have been hospitalized with influenza, DPH said.

In the past five weeks, there has been a steep increase in the number of Connecticut residents hospitalized with influenza, DPH said.

If the duration of this influenza season is similar to the past two seasons, peak influenza activity is probably four to six weeks away in mid-February.

“This year’s flu virus appears to be affecting older persons especially hard,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. “It is not too late to get a flu shot, and some people who are sick with influenza may need to be treated with an antiviral medication.”

A flu shot can lessen the severity and duration of the flu, he said. "I strongly recommend anyone who has not yet received the flu vaccine to get one as soon as possible,” Pino said. “It is not too late to protect yourself from what is looking to be a particularly strong flu season.”

The outbreak is widespread across Connecticut, with 1,015 confirmed cases through Jan. 6. Of those, 256 are from Fairfield County, 367 from Hartford County, 229 from New Haven County, 58 from New London County, 38 from Tolland County, 31 from Middlesex County, 23 from Litchfield County and 13 from Windham County.

A total of 456 people have been hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza cases.

There have been 15 influenza-associated deaths in patients over 65 have been reported to date this season DPH said.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness spread through the air and by direct contact with respiratory droplets. Typical symptoms include sudden fever, aching muscles, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, headache, and eye pain. It is especially dangerous for people age 65 and older; children younger than 2; people of any age with chronic medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, or lung disease; and pregnant women.

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