Connecticut's First Flu-Related Death of the Season Reported

Connecticut's first flu-related death of the season has been reported.

According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, it was a patient over the age of 65.

The agency reported 41 confirmed cases of the flu across the state and said 22 people have been hospitalized so far this season.

The flu season officially started August 26.

Last fall and winter, the U.S. went through one of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter - the disease's highest death toll in at least four decades. 

It was driven by a kind of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths, particularly among young children and the elderly.

In recent years, flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to — in the worst year — 56,000, according to the CDC.

CDC officials do not have exact counts of how many people die from flu each year. Flu is so common that not all flu cases are reported, and flu is not always listed on death certificates. So the CDC uses statistical models, which are periodically revised, to make estimates.

Last winter was not the worst flu season on record, however. The 1918 flu pandemic, which lasted nearly two years, killed more than 500,000 Americans, historians estimate.

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