Two additional flu-related deaths in Delaware

DOVER — Delaware’s Division of Public Health reported two more flu-related deaths for the 2015-2016 flu season, bringing the total to three.

The two new fatalities were New Castle County residents, a 58-year-old female, who had influenza A H1N1 (swine), and 69-year-old male with influenza A. Both had underlying health conditions, according to division spokesperson

Public Health reports 1,138 lab-confirmed cases for the current flu season in Delaware. Flu season is continuing its pattern of a late peak, meaning a significant increase in cases and the three fatalities coming late in the traditional flu season.

During flu week 11, there were 306 new laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza among Delaware residents — 215 (70.3 percent) in New Castle County, 59 (19.3 percent) in Kent County and 32 (10.5 percent) in Sussex County.

This flu season remains much less deadly than last year’s season in which there were a total of 2,390 confirmed flu cases in Delaware, with 28 flu-related deaths.

“The flu season is clearly not over, and taking precautions is still important,” said Crystal Webb, Division of Public Health deputy director.

The Division of Public Health continues to offer the vaccine at four of the state service centers. Information can be found at dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/fluclinics.html. The vaccine also is available through medical providers, pharmacies and some grocery stores.

Precautionary measures people can take to possibly avoid the flu include washing hands, using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes and staying at home when sick. These efforts help stop the spread of respiratory illnesses including flu.

The previous fatality was also a New Castle County resident — an elderly man with underlying health conditions. He was diagnosed with influenza A.

For more information on influenza prevention, diagnosis and treatment, call the Division of Public Health at (888) 282-8672 or visit flu.delaware.gov.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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