Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager
Date: December 13, 2010
As we busily prepare for the holiday season, Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) reminds residents to ensure they are vaccinated against the flu. Though influenza activity has been sporadic this season, the state's influenza surveillance report has confirmed five cases of influenza for Nov. 28 - Dec. 4 reporting week. Four residents in New Castle County and one in Sussex County tested positive for type A influenza by the Delaware Public Health Laboratory. This is an increase in incidence of flu cases compared to previous weeks. Influenza is unpredictable and these cases indicate that the season is far from over. Flu is normally prevalent after the holidays and often peaks in late February or early March. It is not too late to get vaccinated.
"Although we have not seen a lot of flu yet in Delaware, other states have and it is only a matter of time before we do as well," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "Therefore it is not too late to be vaccinated. Getting your flu shot now may help protect you during the holidays when you come in contact with more people such as at parties or in close quarters on a plane or train."
This year's flu vaccine protects individuals from both seasonal flu strains and the H1N1 virus. Delawareans are also encouraged to prevent infection by taking simple everyday measures such as washing hands, using hand sanitizers, covering coughs and sneezes and staying at home when sick. These efforts help stop the spread of respiratory illnesses including flu.
Residents who are not yet vaccinated are encouraged to take advantage of the ample supply of vaccines. Contact your health care provider about getting vaccinated or visit www.flu.delaware.gov for flu clinic schedules and other flu information.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.