With the world fixated on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there was a new flu-related death in Connecticut last week, bringing the total to 78 for the season.
According to the Connecticut Department of Health, the flu has gone from “widespread” to "regional" statewide, with a total of 2,993 influenza-related hospitalizations reported since the beginning of the flu season, including just 22 in the past week, dramatically down from the week before.
As of the week ending on Saturday, April 4, just one of the 78 flu-related deaths reported was a toddler, the bulk were senior citizens.
There have been 12,837 positive influenza tests reported to the Department of Health, with the percentage of emergency department visits for influenza-like illness dropping from 6.94 percent the week prior to 5.84 percent.
Nationally, there have been more than 10 million flu illnesses, 91,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 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 person coughs, sneezes, or talks, 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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