More Flu Deaths in Delaware - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

More Flu Deaths in Delaware

Posted: Apr 09, 2018 4:53 PM Updated:

DOVER, Del.- Health officials say the flu is still active in Delaware after a declining number of cases. As of the week ending March 31, 2018, the Division of Public Health has confirmed 8,182 cases of the flu for the season, and 34 flu-related deaths.

According to DPH,  216 cases were reported the week of March 25-31, week for which numbers are available, a sharp contrast to the season-high single-week total of 1,521 cases during the week of Feb. 11-17 of this year.

DPH reports the three most recent deaths in Delaware include a Sussex County man and two Kent County women, ranging in age from 80 to 99. All three had multiple underlying health conditions. DPH says the next highest total of flu-related deaths since record-keeping began was 28 deaths in the 2014-2015 season. Despite the drop in the overall number of weekly flu cases, DPH is urging residents not to be fooled into thinking flu season is over.

“This flu season has been incredibly harsh both nationally and here at home,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We can’t express enough condolences to the families who have lost a loved one due to the flu. After the winter months, some may have the tendency to think the flu is no longer a threat, but flu germs can circulate well into the summer, so we should all continue to take preventive measures against influenza, particularly social distancing.”

Social distancing means if you are sick, do not go to school, work, or other social functions until you are fever-free (temperature less than 100 degrees F; 37.8 degrees C) for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. Wash your hands frequently and sneeze or cough into a tissue which you immediately dispose of. If you don't have a tissue available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow.

DPH continues to emphasize the importance of calling your primary care provider at the first sign of illness and taking antivirals as directed, if prescribed. You should go to either your physician or a walk-in clinic rather than the emergency room when symptoms are non-life threatening. People who are extremely ill with symptoms such as trouble breathing, bluish skin color, fever with a rash, dizziness, or severe or persistent vomiting should seek immediate medical help.

For more information about flu surveillance in Delaware, read the weekly flu report at http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/epi/influenzawkly.html. For general information about the flu, visit http://flu.Delaware.gov.

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