Fairfield, Hartford, and New Haven counties hardest hit by influenza


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Cedric Avery of New Haven hasn’t gotten his flu shot and when we first met him, insisted he didn’t need one.

“I stay active, and energetic,” said Avery.

You might say people like Cedric are playing a game of roulette with their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Connecticut is one of the states that’s been hit the hardest so far this year by the flu. The disease they report is “widespread.”

Among those keeping a close eye on the situation is Alan Siniscalchi with the Connecticut Department of Public Health. He works as the influenza surveillance coordinator there. Siniscalchi tells News 8 the 2015-2016 flu season started off slow, but in the last couple weeks reported cases of the illness have jumped by as much as 200 percent. The areas with the highest number of cases so far include Fairfield, Hartford, and New Haven counties.

Good ideas to avoid being being a victim of the flu include avoiding close contact with people who are sick, washing hands frequently, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and to disinfect areas that may be contaminated with germs. The best thing, however, people can do to protect themselves is to get a flu vaccine.

“If you haven’t gotten your vaccine you should go out and get it now because the peak may be a couple weeks away and it will be perfect timing for it,” said Siniscalchi.

The exact number of people who’ve been infected with the flu in Connecticut so far this year isn’t clear, but Siniscalchi estimates it is in the thousands. Numbers that even has Cedric reconsidering his decision to not get a flu shot.

“Maybe I’m in store for a flu shot soon,” said Avery.

Even though there has been a big jump in flu cases, the overall numbers of cases so far are lowest they’ve seen since the 2011/2012 flu season. Flu season officially ends in May.

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