NEW BRITAIN – As Hartford HealthCare continues to partner with the community to combat covid-19 it is also gearing up for the fight against the influenza virus with a new flu shot campaign.
During a briefing Tuesday morning, Hartford HealthCare gave a status update on their latest covid-19 numbers and predictions and how it is preparing for a surge.
“There are 32 patients in our inpatient care facility. That’s the highest we’ve seen in the past few weeks,” said Ajay Kumar, MD and chief clinical officer at Hartford HealthCare. “There are four patients at Hospital Of Central Connecticut.”
Kumar states Hartford HealthCare has tested more than 260,000 individual patients across the state, continuing to lead in the testing efforts.
“We have been living with less than 1.2% conversion for the past several weeks in the state so the small rise that’s happening right now is something to keep an eye on,” Kumar said. “A case rate between the age group of 20-29 the younger age is just about the same as the age of 60-69, so we’re seeing an increase in the younger generation coming back positive at the moment. Thank God with science and their resiliency the mortality is a lot lower, but after age 50 the mortality rate exponentially goes up. This was something we were somewhat concerned about given the Labor Day weekend celebrations, other things that were going on in the state, and schools and colleges reopening, but I think our state has done a very good job at managing where we are right now.”
Kumar says we should expect the world to hit the one million mark of mortality by September 27. He urges everyone to continue to be careful, because the pandemic is not over yet.
“We’re getting into more discussions about influenza virus and most importantly the flu vaccine and the complications of flu with covid. Hartford HealthCare is launching a campaign to help and partner with Connecticut citizens as we’ve done with covid to try to reduce any impact that that will have,” said Keith Grant, APRN and senior system director infection prevention at Hartford HealthCare.
The theme for the flu shot campaign is: “It’s good for you, CT – Get your flu shot!”
The campaign encourages you to get your flu shot and explains the added benefit of helping ensure the health system isn’t overwhelmed by a “twindemic” (covid and flu).
“The flu shot isn’t just good for you this year it also has added benefits. It does help to ensure that you’re maintaining a healthier system, you’re protecting your respiratory system against the potential flu virus, which in turns prevents the impact that will increase mortality for contracting and the impact of covid-19,” Grant said. “There is some data that shows that in the 2018-19 season about 200,000 patients were seen in healthcare settings primarily because of flu like symptoms or influenza related incidents and with the flu vaccine we helped to reduce that quite significantly. It estimates about 58,000 people by taking the flu vaccine it reduced them actually having to use the healthcare system.”
Flu shots are available at Hartford HealthCare Medical Group primary care offices and Hartford HealthCare GoHealth Urgent Care Centers.