Number of Lab-Confirmed Flu Cases in Delaware Soars; 3 More Deat - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Number of Lab-Confirmed Flu Cases in Delaware Soars; 3 More Deaths Reported

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DOVER, Del. - Flu season is winding down, but the number of flu-related deaths in Delaware is continuing to climb.

The Division of Public Health says three more Delawareans infected with the flu have died, bringing this season's total to 11.

The three new deaths were a 77-year-old Kent County woman inflected with Influenza A, a 76-year-old Sussex County woman infected with Influenza A and an 83-year-old New Castle County woman infected with Influenza B. DPH says all three had underlying health conditions.

In the 2015-2016 flu season, only six Delawareans died from flu-related illnesses, according to DPH. Still, this year there have been far fewer deaths than two years ago. In the 2014-2015 flu season, DPH says Delaware saw 28 flu-related deaths.

However, this season there were more lab-confirmed cases of the flu than there have been in more than a decade. As of the week ending March 18, there were 3,366 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in Delaware. That's 1,115 more cases than the 2015-2016 flu season.

DPH says the county breakdown of flu cases is as follows: 21 percent from Sussex County, 30 percent from Kent County and 49 percent from New Castle County. These numbers reflect lab-confirmed cases, and health officials believe the actual number of flu cases in Delaware is much higher.

“This year’s flu numbers confirm what we have often said about the flu -- it’s an unpredictable disease and can impact people differently every year,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Given we know that we are seeing the highest number of cases in a decade, its important the people continue to take precautions to prevent the illness.”

These precautions include washing hands, using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes and staying at home when sick.

For more information on influenza prevention, diagnosis and treatment, call DPH at 800-282-8672 or visit flu.delaware.gov.

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