Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Date: May 11, 2016
DOVER, DE (May 11, 2016) - Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) reported three more flu-related deaths for the 2015-2016 flu season, bringing the total to six. The three new fatalities involved two New Castle County residents, a 69-year-old female (Influenza A H1N1 - Swine) and a 54-year-old male (Influenza B); and a Sussex County resident, a 42-year-old female. All had underlying health conditions. There was no evidence of any of the deceased receiving a flu vaccine. All three deaths occurred in April.
For the current flu season, there are a total of 2,064 lab-confirmed cases in Delaware. During flu week 17, there were 88 new laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza among Delaware residents - 60 (68.2 percent) in New Castle County, 14 (15.9 percent) in Kent County, and 14 (15.9 percent) in Sussex County. The flu season has been unusual in that the number of cases peaked late and a group of fatalities occurred late in the season as well.
Still, this flu season remains much less deadly than last year's season in which there were a total of 2,390 confirmed flu cases in Delaware, with 28 flu-related deaths. However, it is important to remember that flu season is ongoing, and more illnesses and fatalities are still possible.
"DPH is keeping our thoughts and prayers with the families and loved ones who lost someone to flu," said Delaware DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "The flu season is still not over, and taking precautions and recognizing symptoms of the flu are still important, particularly for those who have significant medical conditions. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and have underlying health problems, you should consult your doctor immediately."
Delawareans are 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. Public Health officials always encourage anyone 6 months of age and older who has not yet been vaccinated against the flu to do so as soon as possible. DPH continues to offer the vaccine at four State Service Centers. Information for these sites can be found at dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/fluclinics.html . Additionally, the vaccine is available through medical providers, pharmacies, and some grocery stores.
For more information on influenza prevention, diagnosis and treatment, call DPH at 888-282-8672 or visit: flu.delaware.gov.
DPH previously announced three fatalities, all of whom were New Castle County adults with underlying medical conditions.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit delawarerelay.com.
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. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
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.