HARTFORD, Conn. — The State Department of Health released its new flu numbers for the week.
They say that one death was reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 78, and one child.
Influenza hospital rate this past week was 22, bringing the season total to 2,993. The Department of Health said influenza-like illness was 16.26 %, higher than the previous week and higher than the level reported at this time in the previous year.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more people may be seeking care for respiratory illness than usual at this time.
The flu can cause serious health problems, especially for those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, the elderly, and infants who are too young to be immunized. In the 2018-2019 flu season DPH reported 3,506 people hospitalized with flu-associated illness in Connecticut and a total of 88 deaths related to the flu.
It is recommended the people 65 years and older get a flu shot instead of a nasal spray vaccine. The nasal spray vaccine is only approved for use in non-pregnant individuals between the ages of 2-49 and is not effective for anyone over the age of 50. They can get any flu vaccine approved for use in that age group with no preference for any one vaccine over another.
There are regular flu shots that are approved for use in people 65 years and older and there also are two vaccines designed specifically for people 65 years and older.
To get vaccinated for the flu check with your regular heath care provider or pharmacy to see if they have the flu vaccine available.
For more information on influenza and vaccination, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
DPH posts a weekly flu update on the Influenza Surveillance and Statistics webpage.