Though flowers are blooming and temperatures seem to have settled in the above-freezing range for the foreseeable future, one last vestige of the cold-weather months continues to hang on — the flu.
According to the most recent statistics from the state Department of Health, the contagious respiratory disease is still with us, though well below its January peak. The state also reports that, over the past six weeks, the predominant strain of flu among those hospitalized with the virus has shifted from Type a to Type B.
This season has been a rough one for flu, with the state reporting a total of 8,158 testing positive for the illness nearly eight times the number of people who tested positive last season. There have been a total of 34 deaths from flu this season, most of them in people age 65 and older and all of them in people age 55 and older.
During the week ending Saturday, April 13, about 5.6 percent of emergency room visits were attributed to flu/fever syndrome and 1 percent of outpatient visits were by people with flu-like illness.
Flu season typically runs until late May.