The symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. For further information, visit flu.delaware.gov or call 800-282-8672.

The symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. For further information, visit flu.delaware.gov or call 800-282-8672.

Severe flu symptoms

The following signs suggest severe illness from flu requiring immediate attention and possible hospitalization:

In children

Fast breathing or trouble breathing Bluish skin color Not drinking enough fluids Not waking up or not interacting Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough Fever with a rash Also get immediate medical help for any infant who has any of these signs:

Inability to eat Trouble breathing No tears when crying Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal In adults

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen Sudden dizziness Confusion Severe or persistent vomiting Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

5 Things to Do About the Flu

1. Get the flu vaccine. Anyone age six months and older should get vaccinated for the flu. It is particularly important that anyone who works or lives with children, persons with underlying medical conditions,  those who are pregnant, and seniors get vaccinated. Vaccinations are offered through physician offices, and many pharmacies and grocery stores.

2. Wash hands with soap frequently or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after you cough, sneeze or touch your face.

3. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow. Droplets from a sneeze can travel up to six feet.

4.Stay home when sick and do not return to school or work until 24 hours after a fever is gone.

5. Take anti-viral such as Tamiflu or Relenza. They are especially recommended for those with influenza who are at high risk for complications. 

Who should take anti virals?

Tamiflu and Relenza can lessen the symptoms, shorten the time you are sick, and prevent complications. They are recommended for anyone with the flu. However, they are especially recommended for high risk groups including those who:

Are hospitalized – treatment is recommended for all hospitalized patients Have severe, complicated, or progressive illness – this may include outpatients with severe or prolonged progressive symptoms or who develop complications such as pneumonia Are in one of these groups: Children younger than age 5 (especially those younger than age 2); 

Adults aged 65 years and older;

Persons with chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension alone), renal, hepatic, hematological (including sickle cell disease), and metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus), or neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions (including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy [seizure disorders], stroke, intellectual disability [mental retardation], moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury);

Persons with immunosuppression, including that caused by medications or by HIV infection

Women who are pregnant or postpartum (within 2 weeks after delivery);

Persons aged younger than 19 years who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy;

American Indians/Alaska Natives

 Persons who are morbidly obese (i.e., body-mass index is equal to or greater than 40); and

Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities.

2014-2015 Timeline of flu cases in Delaware

Nov. 17 – First flu-related death of the 2014-2015 flu season was reported when an 83-year-old woman from Sussex County died. DPH reports a total of 37 cases.

Dec. 17 – Two fatalities and 250 laboratory-confirmed flu cases. Sussex County has more than 60% of the cases statewide.

Dec. 31 – Four deaths with two in Sussex, one each in Kent and New Castle counties and 632 confirmed cases.

Jan. 8 – Nine deaths to date (six deaths in New Castle County, one in Kent and two in Sussex County) and 1,004 lab-confirmed cases.

Jan. 9 – 11 deaths with1,340 lab-confirmed cases.

Jan. 15 – 14 deaths (11 deaths in New Castle , one in Kent and two in Sussex County)

Jan. 16 – DPH reports a fifteenth fatality, the second for Kent County.

Source: The Delaware Division of Public Health