Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager
Date: October 12, 2010
Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) reports the state's first laboratory confirmed case of influenza for the 2010-2011 flu season. An infant (under age 1) from Sussex County was confirmed with type A/H3 influenza Oct. 8 by the Delaware Public Health Laboratory. The child is recovering at home.
"It is not unusual for children to be among the first to fall ill from influenza," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "This influenza strain is included in the current flu shot. All persons older than 6 months should get protected by receiving a flu shot. Since the flu shot is not recommended for infants under six months of age it is very important that those who live or work with infants be vaccinated."
This year's flu vaccine protects individuals from both seasonal flu strains and the H1N1 virus. For the 2010-2011 flu season, DPH has provided 27,310 doses of flu vaccine to health providers enrolled in the Vaccines for Children program. This federal program supplies vaccine nationwide for children enrolled in Medicaid, uninsured children and children with insurance that does not cover vaccines. DPH continues to conduct scheduled flu vaccination clinics statewide. For a complete listing of DPH flu shot clinics, go to www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/fluclinics.html
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.
DPH monitors the occurrence of influenza and influenza-like illness in all hospitals and selected long term care facilities, large businesses and stand-alone medical clinics. Beginning this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collect this information from across the country to track trends. During the 2009-2010 season, 2,247 cases of influenza were confirmed in Delaware.
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.