Connecticut health officials confirmed two flu-related deaths in two adults over age 65 last week, marking the state’s first fatalities of this year’s influenza season.
In a news release posted Thursday, the two individuals were identified as a resident of Fairfield County and a resident of Litchfield County, but officials did not elaborate further. The department of health also noted that 47 patients have been hospitalized as a result of the flu between Aug. 25 and Nov. 9. The majority of those cases involved influenza type A, with only three being associated with influenza B viruses.
“I advise all Connecticut residents to take the proactive step to protect their health during flu season by getting a flu shot,” said DPH Commissioner Renee D. Coleman-Mitchel, in the news release. “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.”
As of Nov. 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had reported low flu activity nationwide, which has been typical for this time of year in seasons past. As of that same week, there had only been two pediatric deaths reported across the nation, but several other states have reported deaths involving adults. Information from the CDC on adult fatalities was not immediately available.
During the 2018-2019 flu season, Connecticut saw 88 deaths and 3,506 hospitalizations due to the virus. The health department advised residents to check with their local health provider on where to receive a flu shot.