Child's Death Raises Flu Concern in CT

This flu season has been tame compared to year's past, but that could soon change. Doctors in Connecticut are seeing an increase in cases.

St. Francis Hospital in Hartford went through a record high 17 flu packets for patients fighting the bug on Tuesday night alone.  

Google's Flu Tracker reports high activity in Connecticut and surrounding states and The Centers for Disease Control reports regional outbreaks.

All this comes as a couple from the Jamaica Plain section  of Boston mourns the loss of their son to the flu. Hunter Pope, 12, a normally healthy child, died unexpectedly last weekend. 

"We took him in early Sunday morning because he was getting dehydrated. He seemed to be doing fine. Then I got a frantic call from my wife around 2 a.m., and by 5 a.m., it was all over," Hunter's father, Ken Pope, said.

"Every flu season, unfortunately, there are significant pediatric fatalities that you hear about," Dr. Steven Wolf, of St. Francis, said.  Last year, the flu killed two children in Connecticut and 36,000 people nationwide.

Dr. Wolf says washing your hands is the best way to protect yourself from getting sick.

Here are some steps you should take if you do come down with the flu:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Use a humidifier
  • Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines might also help.

The CDC Web site offers more traditional treatments.

For alternatives like Elderberry and Echinacea, see's alternative medicine section.

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