SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018

Delaware reports first influenza case of the season

Delaware's Division of Public Health has confirmed that an 11-year-old from Wilmington is the first laboratory confirmed case of influenza for the current flu season in the state.
The child, who is recovering at home, was diagnosed with influenza type A/H3. Influenza A/H3 currently accounts for 30 percent of the flu cases that have occurred nationwide this season, WGMD reports.
Starting in October each year, the DPH monitors the occurrence of influenza-like illness in medical clinics, selected long-term care facilities and hospitals to track flu trends in the state. Reports thus far do not suggest that influenza is widely circulating in Delaware.
“Flu seasons can be unpredictable and immunization is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from infection,” Karyl Rattay, the DPH director, said, according to WGMD. “This year’s influenza vaccine provides protection against this A strain of flu. Because it is not yet widespread, there is still time to be vaccinated.”
The DPH urges all Delawareans six months of age and older who have not yet been vaccinated against the flu to get a vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccine is readily available through pharmacies, medical providers and some grocery stores.
Influenza vaccination reduces the risk of getting infected or spreading the disease to others. It is particularly important that at risk groups such as pregnant women and their household contacts, caregivers and household contacts of children younger than six months, seniors, and those with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems receive the flu shot.

In addition, Delawareans are encouraged to prevent infection by taking simple everyday measures such as washing hands, using hand sanitizers, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying at home when sick.