Delaware Urges More to Get Flu Shot Amid Rising Cases - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Urges More to Get Flu Shot Amid Rising Cases

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DELAWARE - The flu continues to be a major problem in the first state as the number of laboratory-confirmed cases, and even the number of deaths continue to rise. The most recent numbers released by The Division of Public Health indicate that there have been 1,526 laboratory-confirmed cases in Delaware, including 14 deaths.

Experts from the Division of Public Health told WBOC that this was because the flu vaccine has been far less effective nationwide. A government study has shown that the vaccine has only been effective 23 percent of the time nationwide.

On Thursday, DPH held a free flu clinic at Legislative Hall in Dover, where they gave out flu shots. They said the motto was "better late than never."

"The flu vaccine is less effective this year," said Dr. Karyl Rattay from DPH. "Because it's not as much of a perfect match. It's not as much of a perfect match because the flu virus that's circulating has genetically mutated.

Despite the weakened effectiveness in stopping the illness all-together, Rattay still said that people should get the shot because it can weaken the severity of the disease, as well as stop other strains of the flu.

"Even though it might not be a perfect match," she said. "The strains are close enough that your immune system is going to recognize it at some degree. And fight against it. It just might not be able to protect you completely."

Nurse Lisl Phelps was giving out shots at the Dover event. She said there are many ways to avoid the flu.

"To avoid getting the flu," she said. "You can - A - get the flu shot which is what we're here to do today. B - um - wash your hands. Use soap and water or alcohol hand sanitizer. They both work well. C - if you do feel sick - stay home."

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