So far this year, 5 people perished from the flu in Connecticut.   Thanks to the bitter cold snap, the viral illness swelled to dangerous levels this week.

The virus survives so much better in colder weather, that’s why we rarely see flu cases in the warmer months.  And this cold snap gave the virus a much needed boost.

Months ago, medical experts predicted this season would be bad.  However, the flu already exceeded their expectations.

WTNH reports that the amount of patients rushing into hospitals and waiting rooms more than doubled last week.   In addition, overall confirmed cases rose by an unprecedented 7 percent last week.

The state declared the viral illness a widespread problem three weeks ago.

So far this year, the state confirmed 713 flu cases.  The state also recorded an unsettling 5 deaths in patients 65 and older.

The counties with the most reports are Hartford with 265 reports, Fairfield with 189, and New Haven with 139.   For a more detailed outlook click HERE.

However, this flu is extremely dangerous.  It’s because this particular strain (H3N2) also targets youths and the elderly indiscriminately.  It also creates more instances of pneumonia, as well.

In California, 27 people under the age of 65 lost their battle against the flu.  That’s 4 more than this time last year.

With this particular strain hitting the elderly and youth the hardest, doctors urge families to err on the side of caution.  Some hospitals in the country needed to set up tents due to patient overflow.

So far, the nation reported 41,000 cases this year.

On top of that, this illness will stick around for several days once you have it.  So, if you feel a rattle in your chest and achy muscles, buckle up for a very long ride.

Lastly, due to the cold snap, more people will come down with the flu.  Typically, officials report seeing a peak in February and early March, so we still have ways to go.

That said, you have time for a flu shot.  Officials urge the state’s elderly and very young to get one because of how this strain attacks them.  It does take a while for the vaccine to kick in, but by the time it does, it’ll be the peak of the season.

So buckle up, kiddos.  There’s no getting off this bumpy ride now!


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