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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: November 3, 2014


Dover, DE (November 3, 2014) - Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) reports the state's first laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in New Castle and Kent counties for the 2014-2015 flu season, as follows:

Delaware has 11 total reported influenza cases for the 2014-2015 flu season. On October 14, DPH announced the state's first confirmed case this year, which involved a 2-year-old resident of Sussex County who was not hospitalized.

"These cases demonstrate the importance of vaccination for children, their parents and adults of all ages," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "Children are safest from influenza when surrounded by people who are vaccinated."

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 has confirmed both strains this season. DPH urges all Delawareans 6 months of age and older who have not yet been vaccinated against the flu to get a vaccination 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 this season, please visit dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/fluclinics.html

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:

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.

During the 2013-2014 flu season, there were 1,842 confirmed cases of influenza in Delaware, with six flu-related deaths. There were 428 hospitalizations due to the flu or flu-associated causes like pneumonia.

For more information on influenza prevention, diagnosis and treatment call the Division of Public Health at 888-295-5156 or 302-744-4990, or visit dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/index.html.

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 http://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.