Flu starting to rise in state

December 18, 2018

You know what most people don’t want to receive this holiday season? The flu. Yet the contagious respiratory illness is continuing to rise in the state.

According to the state Department of Public Health, there was a significant spike in flu cases the week ending Dec. 8 (the latest date for which numbers were available). Between that week and the week before, flu cases in the state rose from 186 to 259. The number of hospitalizations linked to flu also jumped, from 65 to 82.

There was still only one flu-associated death in the state the season, as of the most recent state report.

Influenza A viruses seem to be the predominant type circulating so far this season, though there have been some B viruses reported.

Though flu season has been relatively quite so far, the illness generally peaks several months into the season, around January or February, so a spike could be around the corner.

Last flu season was a particularly bad one, both nationwide and in Connecticut. Connecticut reported 154 flu-associated deaths from the illness last season — including at least three children. Nationwide, more than 80,000 people died from flu last year. Experts said the rough season is partially attributable to the fact that last season’s flu vaccine was, on average, 36 percent effective at preventing flu infections.

However, experts said some protection from the flu is better than none and still advise people to get their flu shot. And, according to the latest flu report from the state, “December is still a good time for you and your family to obtain your flu vaccine and take steps to prevent influenza-related illness and hospitalizations.”

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