Flu deaths in state rise to 30, but activity declining overall

The latest numbers from the state Department of Public Health show that flu is still trending down in Connecticut, after a brisk, severe season. However, the death toll from the illness continues to rise, if only slightly.

On Thursday, the state released flu stats for the week ending on Saturday, Feb. 16. During that week, the number of flu deaths in the state had risen to 30, up from 27 the previous week. All deaths were among those age 55 or older.

However, other indicators of flu activity continued to go down. For instance, a total of 5.8 percent of emergency department visits were attributed to the “fever/flu syndrome” — down from 7.3 percent previous week. Those with flu-like illness made up only 2 percent of outpatient visits, down slightly from 2.1 percent the previus week.

This influenza season began in late August, with an earlier onset of flu activity than seen in previous seasons. Seasonal peaks usually happen in February or March, but, the current peaked in early January.

A total of 4,829 people have tested positive for flu in the state and 1,758 have been hospitalized. Last season, only about 1,000 state residents tested positive for the flu.

Amanda Cuda