Delaware health officials announced the state’s first influenza-related death of the 2016-1017 season on Thursday.
The flu virus has claimed the life of an 87 year-old New Castle County man who had other underlying and serious medical complications. There have been 63 confirmed flu cases in Delaware with the majority in New Castle County. There have been 17 reported in Kent County and three in Sussex County. Dr. Karyl Rattay of the Delaware Division of Public Health said right now the trend of flu cases is similar to last year’s numbers.
“We often see cases beginning in October and a few more in November and December. January and February is when we see our peak of influenza,” Rattay said.
According to Dr. Rattay, the flu can be deadly if it goes on without treatment and the best prevention is keeping your hands cleaned and getting vaccinated.
“For influenza we strongly are recommending for those who have not gotten their flu vaccine to please go ahead and get it. It looks like the vaccine out there is going to be a good match for what’s circulating in the community this year,” Rattay said.
The Zika virus is also on the radar of Delaware officials. To date none of those cases- which total 17- have been fatal. However, Dr. Awele Maduka-Ezeh, the Medical Director of DPH is advising travelers who are visiting warmer climates this season to keep an eye out for symptoms because there’s no vaccine for that virus at this time. Those symptoms range from fever to muscle pain.