Flu totals in state continue to rise

The number of confirmed flu cases in the state has exceeded 3,000 and the number of deaths from the illness has reached 17, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The DPH released its latest flu statistics today and, according to them, this bumper flu season hasn’t eased off a bit. To date, a total of 3,248 people has gotten the contagious respiratory illness. That’s nearly triple the total number of confirmed flu cases from last season, when roughly a thousand state residents contracted the disease. Fairfield County has had the highest number of cases, with 902. New Haven County is second with 731 cases and Hartford County is close behind that, with 627.

The number of people hospitalized with influenza has also increased, to 1,355. Hospitals in general have been seeing a lot of business due to flu. The percentage of total emergency department visits attributed to the fever or “flu syndrome” is 12.4 percent statewide — higher than observed during the previous two seasons, where the percentage of ER visits tied to flu or flu-like illness didn’t exceed 8 percent.

The only area where the state is seeing a decrease is in the number of state hospital admissions attributed to pneumonia, which dropped off over the past few weeks. Last week, an epidemiologist with the health department said a decline in pneumonia admissions is generally seen as a sign that flu activity is about to decline.
For more on the flu, visit the health department web site.

Amanda Cuda