As of Jan. 11, a total of 1,029 positive influenza reports have been reported in residents of all eight Connecticut counties, according to the state health department: Fairfield (342 reports), New Haven (235), Hartford (202), Windham (106), New London (61), Middlesex (32), Litchfield (28), and Tolland (23 reported).
In Connecticut, 218 hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza have been reported, according to the state health department. Three influenza-associated deaths in individuals greater than 45 years of age have been reported.
Last week's numbers showed 142 hospitalized patients with the flu and two associated deaths.
Still, cases of flu in Connecticut are far behind last year's report, which said by Jan. 19, 2013, there were 3,248 confirmed cases of flu statewide. However, numbers represent only those people who tested positively for the disease and the statistics don’t take into account the additional thousands of flu cases not confirmed through testing.
Another seasonal flu clinic sponsored by Mass Dispensing Area 36 (MDA 36) — Cromwell, Durham, Middlefield, and Middletown health departments — is being held Jan. 23 from noon to 4 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber, 245 Dekoven Drive, Middletown.
In order to receive the vaccine, participants must be at least 4 years of age and in good health. Private insurance, including Medicare, will be accepted but co-payment will not be required (please bring an insurance card).
Those without insurance coverage may still be able to receive a vaccination at no charge. The vaccine will be administered by injection only (flu mist is not available) on a first-come, first-served basis (appointments will not be accepted). Residency is not required.
Flu season typically starts in the fall and peaks in January or February, according to Flu.gov.
Louis Carta, Middletown Health Department Community Health Educator, says although last year flu clinics were offered at no cots to these communities, this year influenza shots have increased in price. "We're hoping the insurance companies will defer the costs so we can buy more later in the season."
For more information, residents of Cromwell call (860) 632-3426; Durham (860) 349-8253; Middlefield (860) 349-7123 and Middletown (860) 638-4976.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or one of the alcohol based hand sanitizers. The influenza virus can live for 48 hours on surfaces your hands might contact. Learn all about avoiding infection here.