Nine new flu-related deaths were reported in Connecticut last week, bringing the total to 49 during the current season.
According to the Department of Health, the flu is currently “widespread” statewide, with a total of 1,909 influenza-related hospitalizations reported since the beginning of the flu season, including 204 in the past week.
Of the 49 flu-related deaths, just one was a toddler.
There have been 9,210 positive influenza tests reported to the Department of Health, with the percentage of emergency department visits for influenza-like illness down from 10.26 percent the week before to 8.81 percent.
Nationally, there have been more than 10 million flu illnesses, 90,000 hospitalizations and 4,800 deaths from flu during the current flu season, and health officials said things are expected to get worse before they get better.
In 2018 and 2019, 3,506 people were hospitalized with influenza-associated illness in Connecticut and 88 people died.
According to health officials, "in Connecticut, the Department of Public Health uses multiple systems to monitor circulating influenza viruses. During the influenza season, weekly flu updates are posted from October of the current year, through May of the following year."
The CDC said that reported cases of the flu tend to increase in November before peaking between December and February. Flu season typically lasts through the middle of the spring.
The organization estimates that flu has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses each year in the United States and several deaths. Of those illnesses, an estimated 9 percent were hospitalized.
According to the CDC, the flu infects the respiratory tract. “As the infection progresses, the body’s immune system responds to fight the virus.
"This results in inflammation that can trigger respiratory symptoms such as a cough and sore throat. The immune system response can also trigger fever and cause muscle or body aches.
"When infected persons cough, sneeze, or talk, they can spread influenza viruses in respiratory droplets to people who are nearby. People might also get flu by touching a contaminated surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.”
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