Three more flu-related deaths reported in Delaware

DOVER — The number of laboratory-confirmed flu cases continues to increase in Delaware, and the Division of Public Health announced three recent flu-related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths for the 2018-’19 season thus far to eight.

The most recent victim is an 83-year-old man from New Castle County, with underlying health conditions, who passed away this week.

Additionally, last week, a 41-year-old New Castle County woman with suspected underlying health complications and a 74-year-old Sussex County woman with multiple underlying health conditions passed away due to complications from the flu.

Of the eight individuals who have passed away this season, they range in age from 41 to 83. Five persons were from Sussex County, one was from Kent County and three were from New Castle County. All were infected with Influenza A.

The Division of Public Health continues to encourage residents to get their flu vaccine if they have not done so. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that influenza is widespread in most of the country and expects significant flu activity to continue for weeks. It is not too late to get a flu vaccine.

As of Jan. 19, the most recent date for which statistics are available, there have been 1,268 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in Delaware. This number reflects only the number of lab-confirmed cases; the actual number of cases circulating statewide is likely much higher.

Additionally, 224 people have been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms since the start of the flu season. These numbers are similar to the 2017-18 season when at the same time, there were 1,289 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza and 297 hospitalizations.

“We are deeply saddened to learn about the most recent Delawareans who have lost their lives as a result of the influenza virus this season,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “It is important that we all take precautions to prevent catching and spreading the flu. The first and best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting your annual flu vaccine and making sure everyone in your family has received it, as well. The flu vaccine protects against up to four strains of the virus and can help lessen the severity of symptoms if you do become sick.”

Flu vaccines are still available at State Service Centers, primary care providers and specialists, pharmacies, and some grocery stores. To find participating stores, enter your zip code in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) flu vaccine finder at

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