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Flu cases put high demand on Connecticut’s hospitals

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HARTFORD -

Officials say the number of flu cases in the state are putting a high demand on area hospitals.

"It's been a busy flu season," says Dr. Michael Parry of Stamford Hospital. "Last month in particular was really busy. Our laboratory was busy. The hospital was busy. For a lot of inpatients, the emergency room was very busy."

MORE: Officials: Flu tapers off, remains a threat

The state Department of Public Health reports 97 people have died due to flu-related complications this season. Seventy-eight of the people who died were over the age of 65. Two children have died: Emma Splan, 6, of Norwalk, last weekend and Nico Mallozzi, 10, of New Canaan, on Jan. 14. Over 1,900 people have been hospitalized between the end of August and February.

The Department of Health added that the number of flu-related emergency room visits Connecticut is seeing right now is the highest the state's seen in nine years. Officials say that's in part because both strains of influenza are circulating, when it's usually one after the other.

Stamford Hospital has performed over 3,000 flu tests since September, with 702 of them positive. For comparison, 650 patients tested positive during the entirety of last year's flu season.

"We had 96 patients admitted with influenza in the month of January, which is more than we've had in my recollection," Parry says. "Certainly more than we've had in the last five years in any single month."

Dr. Parry says he expects flu activity to continue for the next two months, although the season has peaked and it has begun to taper off.

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