HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Connecticut public health officials say they have seen a steep increase in the number of people hospitalized with influenza over the past five weeks.

The Department of Public Health says this year’s flu virus has been particularly severe among people 65 years old or older. They’ve accounted for 70 percent of patients who’ve been hospitalized.

Connecticut is expected to be four-to-six weeks away from peak influenza activity, which will probably be in mid-February. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is urging residents to still get their flu shots.

As of the week ending Jan. 6, there have been 1,015 positive cases of the flu in Connecticut, with 456 hospitalizations since late August.

There have been 15 flu-related deaths in individuals 65 years old and older so far in Connecticut.

The vaccine is considered to be only about 30 percent effective, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported. Earlier in the season, Dr. Michael Parry from Stamford Hospital explained why.

“Influenza A, which is characteristically the most numerous of the influenza strains during the year, tends to mutate more than Influenza B,” he said.

So the vaccine does not offer broad protection but it does include other strains that are out there, so doctors still advise you to get vaccinated.

Across the country, 20 children have been killed by the flu so far this year, including one in New York state and one in New Jersey.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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