CONNECTICUT, USA — Connecticut health officials said this flu season could be the worst one in years.
"The flu season we’re going to expect it to be very busy. The peak will hit earlier but we’re already starting to see the rise in cases," said Dr. Ulysses Wu, an infectious disease specialist at Hartford Healthcare.
It’s already the earliest flu season in the last four years in our state and experts say it’s expected to surge in the coming winter months.
There are a few reasons why we could see the flu hit harder this season.
"Vaccination rates are fairly low. There’s a lot of vaccination fatigue or hesitancy. Number two, all that masking that we used to do is no longer in place so that’s going to increase our potential transmission," Wu said.
Now there’s very little immunity from the last couple of years when people did take precautions, leaving people more susceptible to getting sick.
"We always have to be watching out for our oldest age groups because they’re going to be the most susceptible to everything," said CT Department of Public Health commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani.
DPH announced the first flu-related death this week a person in their 50s from New London county. There have been 6,000 flu cases reported so far this season and 102 hospitalizations.
The flu is not the only respiratory illness out there. Continued concerns over
Covid-19 and a surge in RSV cases shave health experts expecting a so-called “triple-demic.”
"This is the first season we’ve had with all of these illnesses competing with each other," Juthani said.
The good news is it’s not too late to help keep yourself and those around you healthy.
"It’s never too late to get your flu shot. Even in February we’re still encouraging it, even in March we’re still encouraging it," Wu said. "The reality is, masking during the respiratory season whether people think it's onerous or not kinda makes sense if you don’t want to get sick," he said.
DPH is partnering with local health departments to bring flu clinics all over the state. A list can be found here.
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