Three new deaths reported as flu season starts to get serious

Nov. 15 (UPI) — Officials in Connecticut confirmed Thursday that two adults — both over the age of 65 — died as a result of influenza-related complications as virus activity continues in the early part of flu season.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly FluView report, released Friday, 2.3 percent of visits to healthcare providers across the country this week were related to “influenza-like illness,” down from 2.4 percent this week. The report lists case information through November 9.

To date, three children have died nationally of flu-related causes so far during the 2019-2020 season, with one added this week.

Louisiana was the only state to report high flu activity. It was the third consecutive week the Bayou State did so.

In all, 14 states reported moderate or low activity. Alabama, Mississippi and Texas all reported moderate flu activity.

The agency was unable to report influenza data from clinical labs — including information on virus strains identified — due to technical issues, it said.

In Connecticut, where deaths were reported in Litchfield and Fairfield counties, there have been 47 flu cases requiring hospitalization reported to the state’s Department of Public Health since early August. In 2018-2019, 3,506 people were hospitalized in the state with influenza-associated illness and 88 people died.

“I advise all Connecticut residents to take the proactive step to protect their health during flu season by getting a flu shot,” state DPH Commissioner Renee D. Coleman-Mitchell said in a statement. “Flu vaccines are safe and effective, and can either help prevent you from becoming infected by this serious virus, or help lessen your symptoms if you do get sick. Talk to your health care provider, pharmacist or local health department about the easiest way to get a flu shot.”

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