Officials report 52 flu-related deaths in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The fatal flu season continues to impact Connecticut. On Thursday, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) reported that 52 deaths have been attributed to the flu so far this season. Twenty of those have come in the past week.

“Any influenza can kill you, and I think that is the take-home message people just don’t hear, that influenza can be deadly,” said Dr. Jack Ross, who is the chief of infectious disease at Hartford Hospital.

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Officials say of this week’s deaths, 44 were among patients over the age of 65. However, there is a second group of people at risk: those who have compromised immune systems already.

“Those who have chronic conditions, chronic medications for bad lung disease, heart disease, or kidney failure, or maybe just diabetic alone. Those are the people who should really get the flu shot,” said Ross.

Dr. Ross says wash your hands, use the hand sanitizer and try not to touch your face. And get the flu shot. He says less than half the people in the state get the vaccine, which is your front line protection, and can lessen the symptoms if you get it.

“You still have time to get a flu shot, we are going to be looking at additional cases probably at the level we are seeing right now for another 2 to 4 weeks, perhaps longer.”

Flu season typically lasts until April.

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