DPH Reports Delaware’s 1st Flu-Related Death Of Current Flu Season


Delaware Public Health is reporting the first confirmed flu-related death of the current influenza season.
A 54-year-old Kent County woman who became infected with Influenza A died in early April. DPH said she had underlying health conditions and was not vaccinated.
There have been nearly 1,200 lab-confirmed cases of flu in Delaware as of April 2nd. 361 cases have been reported in Sussex County.
“This is a sad and stark reminder that the flu is still very much with us and can be deadly,” DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased. Like many states, Delaware has seen an increase in flu cases recently. The prevention strategies are similar to the ones we encourage people to use with COVID-19.”
Social distancing is encouraged, as well as frequent hand-washing and other prevention strategies similar to those of COVID-19.
And, if you have flu-like symptoms, DPH said please stay home.

Delaware Public Health released these flu prevention strategies:

In addition to staying home if you have flu-like symptoms, and taking antiviral medication as directed, DPH recommends that you:

  • Practice social distancing by keeping your distance from well people if you have cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Wear a well-fitting face covering if you feel ill and have to go out in public to a doctor’s appointment or pharmacy.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and dispose of tissues immediately; if no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow.

Social distancing means that those sick with the flu should stay home from work, school, and other gatherings and not return until they have been free of fever – with a temperature of less than 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C) without the use of fever-reducing medications – for at least 24 hours. They should avoid close contact with well people in the household and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other clear liquids. Over-the-counter medicines can provide symptom relief, but if you suspect you have influenza, call your primary care provider as he or she may decide to provide antiviral medications to help hasten recovery and prevent serious complications. This is particularly important for those who feel very sick, are pregnant or have chronic medical conditions.

Flu symptoms come on suddenly, and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and body aches, chills and fatigue. Some people get complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. People with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and asthma are more susceptible to catching the flu.

Flu vaccines are still available at many pharmacies and grocery stores, through primary care physicians and some specialists. To find participating stores, enter your ZIP code in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s flu vaccine finder at www.cdc.gov/flu/

For more information about the flu, visit flu.delaware.gov/.