PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island Department of Health says there have been 11 flu-related deaths in the state, with all but one over the age of 65.

WJAR-TV reports the department said Thursday 300 people have been hospitalized with the flu so far this season. The department had announced earlier this month the flu was widespread in the state.

Residents have complained about waiting hours in the emergency room, and a health department spokesman says the driving factor has been a jump in flu cases. The health department recommends yearly vaccinations for those older than 6 months.

The flu virus is contagious and can cause fever, headache, coughing and sneezing.

State officials recorded 33 deaths last season and more than 1,200 hospital visits.