HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) confirmed the first deaths related to influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) for the 2023-24 season.

State health officials said the person who died from the flu was a Middlesex County resident in their 80s. A New Haven County resident in their 80s and a Hartford County resident in their 60s died from RSV, according to state health officials.

Dr. Manish Juthani, the Department of Public Health commissioner, reminded residents to stay updated with their vaccines as we approach the holidays.

“I think, unfortunately, these deaths that we have now experienced make us remember why this is a good time to go out and do that now,” she said. “Where do we see the RSV’s burden the most? It is in our infants and in older adults.”

Adults 60 and older and expecting mothers should speak with their doctor about the RSV vaccine, Juthani advised.

“If you’re a pregnant woman between 32 and 36 weeks pregnant, you can get a vaccine that will protect your newborn from the moment they enter this world,” she said.

According to the CDC, RSV symptoms include:

  • Runny Nose
  • Decreased appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

Another option for infants and toddlers against RSV is immunotherapy, a long-acting antibody product, which has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalizations.

This is really a recommendation to talk with your provider and figure out if it’s the right course of action for you,” Juthani said.

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine.