Are you putting yourself or others at risk for catching the flu?

At the beginning of February, the state Department of Public Health reported that the flu continues to be widespread in Connecticut, to which all YNHHS hospitals can attest, given increased cases and admissions. The dominant strain this season, influenza A (H3N2), has been linked with severe disease and death, especially in the elderly and young.

More than 1,000 people have been hospitalized with confirmed flu since Aug. 27. Of the 52 people killed, 44 were over age 65.

“We still have weeks ahead of us when it comes to flu season,” said Richard Martinello, MD, YNHH medical director, Infection Prevention. “If you know someone who hasn’t received the flu vaccine, urge them to go get it.

Reports estimate the vaccine to be about 30 percent effective against the influenza this season, but vaccination does reduce the severity of symptoms if people become infected.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that if you or a loved one develops flu-like symptoms, stay home to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Call your doctor if symptoms escalate. YNHHS benefits-eligible employees can also use MDLIVE, a telehealth option that offers 24/7 access to board-certified doctors via a phone, smartphone, computer or tablet. Employees can access MDLIVE from the comfort of home to help reduce the risk of catching or spreading the flu.

The cost to see an MDLIVE doctor is $15 for Advantage Plus Plan members or $20 for Advantage Plan members. Visit or call 888-988-2173.