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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager

Date: January 6, 2010


Officials with Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) say a 56-year old Kent County woman became Delaware's sixth H1N1-related death January 2, 2010. She was hospitalized Dec. 18, 2009, tested positive for H1N1, and had several underlying health conditions.

"We continue to have concerns over the H1N1 virus and its presence in the state," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director. "The death of this woman shows the virus can still have serious consequences, especially in people with pre-existing medical conditions. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the woman's family and friends." People with chronic underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and those who are immunosuppressed are at higher risk of complications from the H1N1 flu.

There have been 1,697 laboratory-confirmed flu-related deaths in the United States, seasonal and H1N1 combined, reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since Aug. 30, 2009, though the CDC stated the number of deaths is higher when estimating those not confirmed in labs.

Dr. Rattay urges those experiencing flu-like symptoms to monitor the severity of their illness.

Stay informed about the latest developments on the H1N1 flu, by visiting

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.