So far this season, Connecticut has 1,676 laboratory-confirmed reports of influenza, including three flu-related deaths.
Public health officials are urging people to take steps to prevent the flu.
“We have seen a sharp increase in flu activity over the past few weeks here in Connecticut,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen said. People should take steps to avoid getting the flu,
including getting vaccinated. Even though the flu is here, it’s still not too late to get vaccinated.”
The three patients who died were all over the age of 65 and all had underlying medical condition, according to a health department spokesperson.
There has been an increase statewide in emergency department visits, outpatient visits and
hospitalizations related to influenza and influenza-like illness, according to state officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage all people over the age of 6
months old to be vaccinated.
Vaccines are encouraged for everyone, health officials said, but especially 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 or long-term care facilities.
This year’s flu vaccine includes three different strains of the flu virus and is a good match to the strains circulating this year, according to health experts.
Whether you get the flu vaccine or not, there are ways you can avoid the flu this year and stay
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Call your healthcare provider if you think you have the flu. Antiviral medications can help if taken early in the illness. Seek medical care immediately if the person develops any of the following symptoms: Fast breathing, trouble breathing or bluish skin color, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen (adults), confusion or sudden dizziness, not drinking enough fluids, not being able to eat, or severe or persistent vomiting, flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough, not waking up, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held or not interacting (children), fever with a rash (children), no tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than normal (children)
- To get vaccinated for the flu: check with your regular heath care provider to see if they have the flu vaccine available, vsit the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find a flu clinic near you.