This Weeks Flu Update From DPH
HARTFORD – The state Department of Public Health (DPH) today released the weekly 2017-2018 Influenza Season Update for the week ending on February 17th. The full report is available on DPH’s Influenza Surveillance and Statistics webpage.
“We are reporting 20 additional flu related deaths, including another child, which continues to highlight the gravity and intensity of this flu season. This is the deadliest season since 2009 when flu became a reportable disease to the State,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Pino. “With 97 total deaths so far this season, I cannot stress enough that if you have not received a flu shot yet, for your own health and to protect the health of those around you, please get a flu shot. It is still not too late.”
According to this week’s update, which tracks flu activity through February 17th, flu activity is showing signs of peaking in Connecticut but remains high and widespread. Statewide emergency department visits attributed to the flu have remained at or above 14%, which are the highest weekly levels observed in Connecticut since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
“While this season is showing signs that we may be at or near the peak, we still have several more weeks left in this flu season and unfortunately we anticipate seeing more hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks,” cautioned Dr. Pino. “I continue to encourage everyone to take all precautions to prevent contracting or spreading the flu – cover your cough and sneeze, wash your hands frequently, stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with people who are sick. ”
A total of 1,951 patients have been hospitalized with confirmed cases of flu between August 27, 2017 and February 17, 2018. A total of 6,267 influenza positive laboratory tests have been reported so far this season.
So far this season, 97 deaths have been attributed to the flu (75 associated with influenza A, 22 with influenza B). Of these deaths, 78 were among patients over the age of 65, 11 were 50-64 years of age, 5 were 25-49 years of age, 1 was between 19-24 years of age, and 2 were between 5-18 years of age. The current season total of 97 deaths is the highest number of influenza-associated deaths reported to the Department in the past 5 years.