Number of flu cases climbing statewide - CBS 5 - KPHO

Number of flu cases climbing statewide

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NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) -

Though the flu season technically kicks off in the fall, it's usually January and February when the most cases were reported. The Connecticut Department of Health said that's exactly what's happening right now.

William Backus Hospital in Norwich restricted visitors in December because of a high number of flu cases. And on Wednesday, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital did the same thing. 

Administrators at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital said they are trying to limit access to restrict the spread of the bug to healthy individuals.

"Some of the more high-risk individuals are children and so we're actually having a restriction of children under 18 or people under 18 who are healthy coming into contact with sick individuals," said Dr. Oliver Mayorga of Lawrence and Memorial Hospital.

There was a surge of patients coming to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital on Wednesday with many of them suffering from upper respiratory problems.

"It just seems to be very rampant and we're seeing it all throughout Connecticut right now causing a lot of respiratory symptoms the flu vaccine seems to be very effective but people are picking up influenza up as well," Mayorga said.

The officials at the Center for Disease Control said the flu season appears to be peaking a few weeks earlier than usual. About 8 percent of hospital visits are those with flu-like symptoms.

The Connecticut Department of Health said there have been 606 recorded cases statewide with 173 in New Haven County, 148 in Fairfield County and 114 in Hartford County.

While the Center for Disease Control suggested everyone who is at least 6 months old get a flu shot. However, not everyone that talked to Eyewitness News was comfortable heeding that advice.

"Once you've injected yourself with something it tends to show up like that," said Elis Belle of New London. "Folks get the shot and tend to show up being sick anyway so what's the point of the shot?"

Mayorga told Eyewitness News even though you get a flu shot, you may still have minor symptoms that could resemble a cold. However, it's still advised to get one.

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