What to Know
Fourteen more flu-related deaths have been reported in Connecticut since last week, bringing the total number for the season there to 77
This year's flu is especially strong and has caused widespread impact; flu hospitalizations are at an eight-year high across the nation
Doctor visits for flu-like symptoms hit their highest level nationwide since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, authorities have said
Fourteen more flu-related deaths have been reported in Connecticut since last week, bringing the total number of lives lost to flu in the state this season to 77 as of Feb. 10, the state Department of Heath said Thursday.
The number surpasses the total number of deaths from the 2016-17 flu season (65), up from just 37 in the 2015-16 season, which was the lowest number of flu deaths recorded in a season over the last six, officials said.
Health officials also say emergency room visits for "fever/flu syndrome" have increased to 14.3 percent of the total visits, which is the highest weekly level observed in Connecticut since the swine flu pandemic of 2009.
Most of the Connecticut deaths (62) have been among people 65 and older. Nine were 50 to 64 years of age, four were 25 to 49 years of age, one was between 19 and 24 years of age and one was between 5 and 17 years of age.
Earlier this week, health officials in New Jersey announced a 6-year-old girl had died of the flu. The Hudson County kindergartener marked the state's second pediatric influenza-related death this season.
Four New York City children have also fallen victim.
Flu hospitalizations are at an eight-year high across the United States, federal officials have said. With two months left of the 2017-18 season, health officials warn anyone who may be affected to seek medical care as soon as possible, particularly people with compromised immune systems, children, pregnant women and elderly people.
Preventive measures include washing and disinfecting hands frequently, covering any coughs and sneezes, staying home if you are sick, especially with a fever, and getting a flu shot.