The flu is still on the rise and as of the most recent reporting period there were 2,456 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu in Connecticut, the state Department of Health reports.
As of Jan. 12, people visiting hospital emergency departments with flu-like symptoms accounted for more than 11 percent of all emergency department visits.
The most recent report from the state’s health department, which tracks flu cases, indicates that the current level of the flu in Connecticut is higher than the previous two flu seasons, in which the number of people seeking emergency care for their symptoms did not exceed 8 percent.
In Meriden, there have been 45 confirmed flu cases.
The percentage of outpatient visits of people with flu-like illnesses also is on the rise and currently accounts for 4.6 percent of all outpatient visits. Data from the previous two seasons indicate the rate of people seeking treatment for the flu or flu-like symptoms did not exceed 2 percent in each year. However, the current level is less than the peak of the 2007-2008 season, which was 9 percent.
Health officials say it is still not late to get a flu shot and announced this week that it would broaden its free flu shot program to all children under age 18, the Hartford Courant reports.
The flu started earlier this season and has persisted at a higher level than previous years, according to the data released Thursday by the state health department.
In its report the health department found that:
- A total of six flu-related deaths have been reported, all of them were people older than 65.
- A large increase in persons hospitalized with influenza-associated illness has been reported during the past six weeks.
- Of the 467 flu-associated hospitalizations reported to date, 84 were identified with Type A (H3N2) influenza, 1 with Type A (2009 H1N1), 345 with Type A (subtype unspecified) influenza, 36 with Type B, and one unknown type influenza.