Delaware’s first flu case confirmed

An 11-year-old boy from Wilmington is recovering from Delaware’s first confirmed case of influenza for the 2011-2012 flu season.

The flu case was identified by the Delaware Public Health Laboratory on November 29.  The boy came down with the A/H3 type of influenza, which accounts for about 30% of flu cases this season nationwide.

“This year’s influenza vaccine provides protection against this A strain of flu,” says Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH).  “Because it is not yet widespread, there is still time to be vaccinated.”

DPH urges all residents over the age of six to get vaccinated as soon as possible.  The vaccine is currently readily available through medical providers, pharmacies and even some grocery stores.  “Flu seasons can be unpredictable and immunization is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from infection,” says Rattay.  DPH is hosting a public flu clinic tonight at Rosehill Community Center at 19 Lambson Lane in New Castle from 5:30 to 8 p.m.  For more information on other scheduled clinics, visit the state’s website all about the flu: flu.delaware.gov.

For the 2010-2011 season, which wrapped up this spring, Delaware saw a number of influenza cases that were resistant to antiviral medication.  10 cases of antiviral-resistant flu were found through May of this year.  The CDC asked the state to increase its testing of the flu to determine if updated recommendations to handle the flu would be needed in the future.

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