28 people have died from the flu this year in Delaware, while more than 2,200 flu cases have been confirmed.
The total number of flu deaths this season is four times higher than the most recent high fatalities recorded in the 2009-2010 flu season. That was the “swine flu” outbreak year which saw seven deaths related to the flu.
This year’s 28 flu deaths came as a surprise to state health leaders. “No one could have predicted this year would be so deadly or include so many cases,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health. “Flu’s annual presence and unpredictability is what makes precautions and prevention efforts every year so important.”
All but four of the 28 patients who died from flu this year were over the age of 65. Those four were in their 50s. All 28 had some underlying medical condition. New Castle County residents made up 22 of the deaths, while Kent and Sussex counties each had three flu deaths.
The flu season is not over and Rattay warns anyone who may feel flu-like symptoms coming on to call their doctor rather than visiting the office and risking spreading the virus.