Six Delawareans have been diagnosed with the flu kicking off the 2017-2018 flu season.
Three of the individuals were hospitalized as a result. They include a 66-year-old man, an 81-year-old female, both from New Castle County, and a 73-year-old Kent County woman. Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) officials said all three individuals had underlying health conditions.
The remaining three people who were not hospitalized include: a 48-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman from Kent County, and a 42-year-old New Castle County man.
“For the past several weeks, we have been encouraging people to get vaccinated as a preventive measure against getting the flu. Now that we have lab-confirmation of our first cases, we hope this further motivates individuals who have not yet gotten their annual flu shot to do so,” said Dr. Awele Maduka-Ezeh, DPH medical director. “Getting a flu shot is quick, easy, and not only protects you, but also those around you.”
DPH urges all Delawareans six months of age and older to get vaccinated. The flu mist vaccine is not being recommended this year because research has shown it’s not as effective as the shot at protecting against certain strains of the flu.
Flu vaccines are offered through doctors’ offices, many pharmacies and some grocery stores. DPH also hosts several flu vaccine clinics throughout the state.
Last flu season, Delaware had 4,590 confirmed flu cases, 15 of which were fatal.
Flu symptoms come on suddenly, and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and body aches, chills, and fatigue. Some people get complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections.