CT health officials urge vaccinations to battle what some call a ‘tripledemic’

Cases of flu are on the rise
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 6:17 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2022 at 8:43 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The Connecticut Department of Public Health urged residents to get COVID-19 and flu vaccines before the holidays.

It’s part of a push to battle what it called a troubling national trend.

All eyes have been on the case numbers of COVID, the flu and RSV.

Some medical professionals referred to the current wave of cases as a “triple threat” or “tripledemic.”

Nationally, the reported number of people hospitalized that have tested positive for COVID was up more than 20 percent in the past week from the week prior.

“We continue to have significantly more people dying as a result of covid than as a result of influenza. Only a handful of people in the state. I think 7 at last count have actually died unfortunately due to influenza. but at the same time, averaging some 50 deaths a month from Covid,” said Dr. Gregory Buller, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Yale Health System.

The flu has also made its rounds with more than one quarter of the nation’s lab results coming back positive.

Doctors in Connecticut are sounding the alarm as New York state is seeing a dramatic surge in flu cases with flu hospitalizations more than doubling over the past two weeks.

New York is a bellwether for Connecticut because so many people travel in between the two states.

“What we are seeing is right now across the US on average, it’s about 4 fold the number of hospitalizations you would normally see for flu at this time of the year. It’s a very early and aggressive flu season,” said Dr. Paul Anthony, Assistant Director Infectious Diseases, Hartford Hospital.

Connecticut too is seeing a big increase in flu cases, not to the same extent as New York, but healthcare officials warn we could be seeing a real spike in our state over the next few weeks.

“Flu cases are continuing to rise and we are really at our worst flu season that we have had in about 10 years since the H1N1 pandemic,” said Dr. Manisha Juthani, Commissioner, CT Dept of Public Health.

“Usually we would start to see things get interesting, at least in this part of the country, in like the January or so because it usually gets in timidly at this time of year. But this time of year it started in November. We started seeing a lot of flu activity that’s its already leading to hospitalizations and death,” added Dr. Paul Anthony.

Doctors predict flu numbers will get even worse over the next few weeks as people travel and gather for the holidays.

Cases of RSV were also up. Hospitalizations for the respiratory illness more than quadrupled from the same time last year.

Those were the reasons many medical experts encouraged those who expressed concern to get the available flu and COVID vaccines.

A focus has been put on protecting children from potential health complications.

“The pneumonia that can come after, the ear infections that can come after, the dehydration that lands kids in the hospital,” listed Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, primary care pediatrician, Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

One way to reduce your chance of getting the of flu is to avoid touching your face and eyes and getting your flu shot.

As always when it comes to a person’s and their child’s health and wellbeing, doctors said be an advocate, do research, and consult trusted medical professionals.

Flu and COVID cases rising
All eyes have been on the case numbers of COVID, the flu and RSV.
Connecticut's Department of Public Health urged residents to get the COVID and flu vaccines before the holidays.