NEW CASTLE, Del.- Delaware's Division of Public Health is reporting the first flu death of the 2012-2013 flu season, a 2-month-old girl from New Castle County.
"We are so sorry to hear this sad news," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. This is an important reminder how serious the flu can be, particularly among vulnerable populations like the very young, people with multiple underlying conditions, and seniors."
Widespread flu activity has been reported nationwide. According to the CDC, 2,257 lab-confirmed flu hospitalizations have been reported since Oct. 1, 2012. And, as of Jan. 5, twenty influenza-associated pediatric deaths had been reported to CDC. The CDC does not track adult influenza deaths. The DPH encourages the public to prevent infection by taking the following measures:
Wash hands with soap frequently or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after you cough, sneeze or touch your face.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow. Droplets from a sneeze can travel up to six feet.
Stay home when sick and do not return to work until 24 hours after a fever.
Residents who are not yet vaccinated are encouraged to contact their health care provider about getting vaccinated. Anyone age 6 months and older can get vaccinated for the flu. According to health officials, it is particularly important that anyone who works or lives with the young, persons with underlying medical conditions, or seniors, get vaccinated.
Vaccinations are offered through physician offices, and many pharmacies and grocery stores. DPH is also expanding vaccination opportunities at public health clinics. If you need information on the flu or where to get vaccinated visit www.flu.delaware.gov or call 800-282-8672.