If you hate the flu, you might need to sit down for this.   Already, 8 people reportedly died die to the virus… including someone from Connecticut.

Fox News reports that flu doubled last year’s total.  Meaning, twice as many people now have the flu than this time last year.

7,000 people came down with the flu so far this year.  Sadly, this particular strain already claimed several lives.  The most recent being a woman from Arizona, bringing the death toll to 8.

Five of those deaths came out of North Carolina and all five of them involved people 65 and over.

Already, the flu hospitalized 77 people in Connecticut.  The DPH also had a terrible announcement to make:

“One influenza associated death in an individual greater than 65 years of age has been reported to date.”

That’s why health officials urge everyone to keep washing their hands and to stay home if they feel sick.

Every year, 12,000 to 56,000 people die each year from the influenza virus.  But because this year hosts a virulent strand that could severely impair our most vulnerable demographics, that’s why doctors keep issuing warnings.

On top of that, the flu reached “widespread” status in four states since last week.  Massachusetts and Georgia recently upped their status to the highest level, joining Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The reason why this year’s flu looks so horrific is because it’s the H3N2 strain.  This strain hits the very young and elderly the hardest.  So, if you have young children or are over the age of 65, grab a flu shot while you still can.

Unfortunately, this year’s vaccine is supposedly only 10 percent effective against the H3N2 strain.

Due to the severity of the illness and how fast it spreads, state DPH officials say the illness is now a “regional” problem.  Hartford and Fairfield County reported the most cases, a total of 59 each.   New Haven saw the 2nd most cases, with 39 to date.

But, with it so early into the season, you know these numbers will only continue to go up.  Fingers crossed we all stay healthy through such a rocky time.

Do you believe in flu shots?  What do you do to keep yourself from getting sick?

What do you think? Comment below