Three deaths linked to flu outbreak in CT
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is reporting that a third person has died from complications related to the flu this season.
The three people who died were all age 65 or older, according to the DPH.
The DPH also reported that 29 people were hospitalized last week with the flu, bringing the total number of people hospitalized with the flu to 120 for this season.
There were no pediatric deaths from the flu as of Dec. 7, DPH officials said. Annual vaccinations are the best way to protect children and adults from the flu, the DPH said.
“I advise all Connecticut residents to take the proactive step to protect their health during flu season by getting a flu shot,” said DPH Commissioner Renee D. Coleman-Mitchell. “Flu vaccines are safe and effective, and can either help prevent you from becoming infected by this serious virus, or help lessen your symptoms if you do get sick. Talk to your health care provider, pharmacist or local health department about the easiest way to get a flu shot.”
The flu is considered to be widespread throughout Connecticut with 400 positive flu tests reported to the DPH since the start of the collection of flu season data in August.
The statistics were gathered for the week of Dec. 1 through Dec. 7, officials said.
The flu can cause serious health problems, especially for those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, or fragile populations like the elderly, and infants who are too young to be immunized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC encourages all people over the age of six months old to be vaccinated.
Vaccines are encouraged for high-risk groups, including children from 6 months to 18 years of age, women who will be pregnant during the flu season, people at least 50 years old, anyone with certain chronic medical conditions and people who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
In the 2018-19 flu season, DPH reported 3,506 persons hospitalized with influenza-associated illness in Connecticut, and a total of 88 influenza-associated deaths.
To date, a total of 47 hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza admitted between Aug. 25 and Nov. 9. have been reported to DPH.
Of these, 38 were associated with type A (subtype unspecified), 2 with Influenza A (H1N1), 4 with influenza A (H3N2), and three with influenza B viruses. Two influenza-associated deaths occurred in Connecticut last week.