The new, more transmissible Omicron variant of the virus coupled with a rise in new flu cases is compounding Connecticut's COVID-19 concerns.
Alarm bells are sounding for some across the state as flu season begins picking up steam as Connecticut - and the rest of the nation - continues contending with COVID-19 and new strains of the virus.
Health officials are encouraging Connecticut residents to get their flu shots, as well as booster shots, as they seek to curtail the spread of COVID-19, which has seen another winter surge of new infections following the Thanksgiving holiday.
According to the Connecticut Department of Health’s latest update, outpatient influenza-like illness activity was similar to the previous week, and was identified as “sporadic.”
In total, there have been 86 positive influenza tests reported to the Connecticut Department of Health.
Since flu season began, there have been four influenza patients treated in Connecticut hospitals, though no flu-related deaths have been reported by the Department of Health.
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 an 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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