Flu ‘very much active’ in Delaware, records reach 14-year high

People 6 months and older should get vaccinated against the flu, says this government poster on display  in a health center in Decatur, Ga

People 6 months and older should get vaccinated against the flu, says this government poster on display in a health center in Decatur, Ga. (David Goldman/AP)

Flu cases in Delaware are the highest level in 14 years, according to the state’s Division of Public Health.

Over the past week, 1,521 more Delawareans were diagnosed with the flu, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 5,758.

There also were five flu-related deaths during that period. There have been 23 deaths this season. The latest five individuals who died were seniors with underlying health conditions, DPH said.

The highest number of flu-related deaths reported was 28 in the 2014-2015 season, according to DPH.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“I cannot stress strongly enough that people should continue to stay home while sick, contact their doctor at first sign of illness and continue to engage in frequent hand-washing and covering of coughs and sneezes to prevent the spread of the flu virus,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Flu is still very much active in our state.”

DPH urges individuals with the flu to stay home until they’re fever-free for 24-hours without medication.

Individuals should receive medical help as soon as symptoms develop, especially if they experience shortness of breath, bluish skin color, fever with a rash, dizziness or severe or persistent vomiting.

To prevent the flu, DPH encourages individuals to wash their hands frequently and wipe down surfaces with disinfecting products, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow and receive the flu vaccination.

“Delawareans should not take any initial discussions of flu season peaking nationally as an indicator that they should relax the preventive measures we have been discussing,” Rattay said. “Flu will continue to circulate widely in our state for weeks to come.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal