A 74-year-old woman is the first in Sussex County to die from flu-related causes in the 2016-17 flu season.
Delaware Public Health officials said the older woman was a resident at a long-term care facility and had multiple underlying health conditions, in addition to having the flu. The three other flu death victims have also had other underlying health conditions.
But it’s not just the elderly or those with health problems that should be wary of the flu this season, officials warned. This flu season is also impacting the young particularly hard.
During the last week of January, there was a surge in flu cases among Delawareans aged 5 to 24. There were 142 lab-confirmed cases for that week, with more than a third of those in the younger age group. A total of 283 Delawareans aged 5 to 24 have had confirmed cases of flu this season, with 19 of those cases requiring hospitalization.
This year’s flu activity is increasing earlier than last year. So far this season, there have been 896 confirmed cases as of Feb. 4. Nearly 200 of those cases required hospitalization.
Last year, there were 826 cases as of mid-March. DPH officials said despite the high number of cases so far this year, the flu season still has not hit its peak. They added it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine.