Another 20 flu-related deaths were reported in Connecticut in the past week, bringing the total for this current flu season to 52.
According to the CDC, the flu results in 31.4 million outpatient visits and 200,000 hospitalizations across the country annually. While flu seasons are unpredictable and can vary in severity each year, there are between 3,000 and 49,000 influenza deaths nationwide. This causes an estimated annual $87 billion total economic burden to U.S. businesses.
In Connecticut, there have been more than 1,000 people hospitalized with the flu, including the 52 fatalities - 44 of which were older than 65. Health officials said that statewide emergency visits attributed to “fever or flu” at 9.7 percent, well above the average of 5 percent in normal years, with officials attributing the spike to an early peak in flu season.
Health officials said that all people 6 months and older are recommended to receive an influenza vaccination each year. Depending on vaccine type available the vaccine will protect against either three or four different influenza viruses. Certain people are at "high risk" of serious complications from seasonal influenza. These include people 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions.
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