Number of flu-related deaths jumps to 23Posted: Updated:
The number of flu-related deaths in Connecticut continues to rise, according to state health officials.
The State Department of Public Health said there are now 23 deaths in the state related to the flu.
There has also been an increase in the number of people that have been hospitalized with the flu over the past five weeks, according to DPH officials. In total, 1,500 have been hospitalized due to a flu-related illness.
"We had a crazy January," said Dr. Zane Saul, who is the director of infectious diseases at Bridgeport Hospital. "We are swamped with influenza illnesses."
Health officials said there is a total of 3,758 confirmed cases of the flu in all eight counties.
Here is the breakdown by county:
- New Haven County: 828 flu cases
- Fairfield County: 1,035 flu cases
- Hartford County: 761 flu cases
- Windham County: 284 flu cases
- Middlesex County: 304 flu cases
- New London County: 266 flu cases
- Litchfield County: 149 flu cases
- Tolland County: 131 flu cases
Saul said that 12 percent of all emergency room visits are influenza-related illnesses.
"Fortunately for the first week, we are starting to see it slow down," he said. "We're pleased it may have peaked, it started much earlier."
Saul said that flu shots are 70 percent effective and many believe they are still worth getting.
To find the closest flu vaccine location, click the following link.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health released the following tips on avoiding the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- 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 immediately if you develop flu symptoms to determine if a medical evaluation is necessary; antiviral medications can help if taken early in the illness.
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