Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Date: January 13, 2012
Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) reports the state's first laboratory confirmed case of type B influenza for the 2011-2012 flu season in a 56 year-old female from Sussex County. The individual had been hospitalized but was discharged Jan. 8 and is recovering at home.
This brings the total number of confirmed flu cases statewide to four; the first three confirmed cases were all type A/H3. There are two main types of influenza (flu) virus: Types A and B, and both are routinely responsible for seasonal flu epidemics 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 thus far indicate Delaware has sporadic flu activity.
"At best, we're in for a bad week when we get the flu," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "and knowing it could have been easily prevented makes it worse. This year's influenza vaccine provides protection against two type A strains and the B 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. The vaccine is readily available through medical providers, pharmacies and some grocery stores.
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 sanitizers, covering coughs and sneezes and staying at home when sick. These efforts help stop the spread of respiratory illnesses including flu.
For more information about how to obtain your flu vaccine go to: www.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.