With the world gripped in fear by the unrelenting spread of the novel strain of the coronavirus (COVID-19), three new flu-related deaths were reported in Connecticut last week, bringing the total to 68 during the current season.
Comparatively, 41 people have died from COVID-19 in the country, with 1,700 cases of the virus now being reported.
According to the Connecticut Department of Health, the flu remains “widespread” statewide, with a total of 2,632 influenza-related hospitalizations reported since the beginning of the flu season, including 178 in the past week, down from 224 the week before.
As of the week ending on Saturday, March 7, one of the 65 flu-related deaths reported was a toddler.
There have been 11,778 positive influenza tests reported to the Department of Health, with the percentage of emergency department visits for influenza-like illness down from 6.44 percent the week before to 6.37 percent.
Nationally, there have been more than 10 million flu illnesses, 90,000 hospitalizations and 4,900 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.
The Department of Health 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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