Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Date: November 4, 2013
Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) reports the state's first laboratory confirmed case of influenza for the 2013-2014 flu season. The case is a woman between age 30 and 40 from Wilmington. She is not hospitalized and did not receive a prior flu vaccination. There are two main types of influenza (flu) virus - types A and B - that routinely spread in people and are responsible for seasonal flu outbreaks each year. Delaware's first case is an influenza A strain.
DPH urges all Delawareans 6 months of age and older who have not yet been vaccinated against the flu to get a vaccine as soon as possible. DPH's "Get It" campaign especially encourages healthy 19-49 year-olds - who often skip the flu shot - to get vaccinated. The vaccine is readily available through medical providers, pharmacies, and some grocery stores. DPH will conduct public flu clinics including some with evening hours at various locations in the state. For DPH flu clinic schedules for this season, please visit www.flu.delaware.gov
Flu vaccination reduces the risk of getting infected or spreading the disease to others. It is especially important that the following groups get flu shots:
Delawareans are also encouraged to prevent infection by taking simple everyday measures such as washing hands, using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes and staying at home when sick. These efforts help stop the spread of respiratory illnesses including flu.
Beginning in October each year, DPH monitors the occurrence of influenza-like illness in hospitals, selected long-term care facilities and medical clinics to track flu trends in the state. Reports so far do not suggest that influenza is widely circulating in Delaware.
For more information on influenza prevention, diagnosis and treatment call the Division of Public Health at 1-888-295-5156 or 302-744-1033, or visit dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/index.html
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.