Cases of H1N1 were slightly up over the last week in the First State, but there’s been no evidence of more antiviral-resistant strains of the virus.
After declining for weeks, the number of H1N1 flu cases in Delaware was up slightly over the last week, but there has been no more indications of the strain that is resistant to antiviral medication. Last month, a Kent County man died after he contracted a strain of the virus that was resistant to medication, but there’s been no evidence of any other similar cases since then.
The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) says there were 40 cases of influenza-like illnesses reported from December 6 to 12. During that time, there was just one laboratory confirmed cases of H1N1. Since October 4, there have been 1,966 confirmed H1N1 cases in Delaware.
DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay says the Delaware should receive more than 30,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine in the next week which will be distributed to hospitals and doctors offices. At this point, the vaccine is still being given to at risk residents including children and those with underlying health conditions. Rattay says the vaccine will be made available to the general population in the “not too distant future.” She says there is still high demand for the vaccine among at-risk groups. “We actually see this to be a good indicator that we are getting more vaccine into the target groups, the fact that we still have strong demand among the target groups.”
Some Delaware doctors have had to return vaccine doses that they’ve received from Sanofi Pasteur after tests showed the doses were not as potent as they should have been. Eight medical providers received 1,800 doses of the recalled batch, and at least 600 doses have been returned to the manufacturer. Rattay says children who may have received the less-potent vaccine don’t face any health threat and don’t need to be re-vaccinated. “Even though there is a slight decrease in the potency of the recalled vaccine, they still believe that it is still potent enough to fully protect kids when they receive it.” Since the recalled doses were given to children three and under who should be receiving two doses, Rattay says that should ensure that they are protected from the virus.