The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced today that flu is officially confirmed in all three counties with new lab-confirmed cases in New Castle and Sussex counties. The first New Castle County cases include a 77-year-old woman who was discharged following a hospital stay, and a 64-year-old male. No deaths have been reported.
The first Sussex case was an infant who is recovering at home. None of the new cases had records that they have received their flu vaccine this season.
These cases join two other lab-confirmed cases in Kent County, 27-year-old and 39-year-old men. Neither were hospitalized. 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.
“Now is the time to get vaccinated. We understand none of the Delaware cases were immunized, which is not uncommon this early in the season,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “But vaccination is our most effective weapon against preventing the flu and its severity. Public Health recommends getting a flu vaccine every year.”
Finding a nearby flu clinic or vaccination site is easier than ever before. Google “CDC flu finder,” enter your ZIP code, and find nearby sites offering vaccinations.
Added DPH Medical Director Dr. Awe Maduka-Ezeh, an infectious disease specialist, “It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop antibodies protect you from the flu so now is the time to get vaccinated before the busy holiday season begins. The flu vaccine is readily available through medical providers, pharmacies, and some grocery stores.”
Flu symptoms come on suddenly, and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and body aches, and fatigue. Some people get complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. Providers can prescribe antiviral medicines to make the illness milder, hasten recovery, and prevent serious complications, hospitalizations, and even death.