Doctors in Connecticut are already treating patients for the flu, which has come early this year, and hospitals are doing more to keep their staff healthy.
"We are seeing earlier cases this year - the last time we saw this was in 2003 and that was a particularly severe year," said Dr. Ken Robinson of Hartford Hospital.
Some doctors are predicting because we are seeing cases so early, we could see a severe flu season.
It is unclear why the flu season started early this year, according to doctors.
Robinson said he has treated seven patients at Hartford Hospital already and expects a lot more.
The new flu statistics released Thursday from the Connecticut Department of Health confirm what Robinson is seeing.
The percentage of emergency department visits that attributed to the "fever/flu" syndrome category has been increasing since mid-November and has remained above 4.8 percent statewide. There have been 16 persons hospitalized with influenza-associated illness.
And when it comes to children, there can be a greater risk of danger. The Connecticut Department of Health has now added the flu vaccine to its list of required inoculations for all school children.
The flu is also dangerous for older adults, especially those with other health issues.
Flu shots are now mandatory at Hartford Hospital. That means they are telling everyone who works in the hospital, they must get a vaccine.
Most people who get the flu get better on their own within a week or two, but if you have trouble breathing, feel dizzy or confused, you should see a doctor.
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