The number of laboratory-confirmed flu cases in Delaware is rising, and one-week totals are surpassing the highest single-week totals from last flu season.
The Division of Public Health reported that there were 650 lab-confirmed flu cases recorded between Jan. 21-27. The highest single-week total in the 2016-17 flu season was 571. The most recent weekly number brings the total number of flu cases to 1,950 for the 2017-18 season.
The surge in flu cases comes with additional news that a fourth person has died of flu-related complications in Delaware. An 82-year-old Sussex County man, who had underlying health conditions, passed away at a local hospital. Of the four flu deaths in Delaware this season, two were Sussex County residents and two were New Castle County residents.
Influenza-like illness continues to increase in Delaware and across the nation. Activity is the highest seen in the last five flu seasons. Additionally, the number of flu-related hospitalizations nationwide is the highest in a decade. In Delaware, the number of hospitalizations as of Jan. 27 is 398, more than double 2017’s total of 158 for the same timeframe. With the increasing number of flu cases, DPH is reminding Delawareans that they should still seek out a flu vaccine if they have not already done so.
While some individual medical providers are reporting a shortage of the flu vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates there is enough available and those who need a shot may have to call a few more places to find it. Residents are encouraged to first contact their primary care provider for a shot or to visit vaccinefinder.org.
For more, call 800-282-8672 or visit flu.delaware.gov.