Flu activity in Delaware remains low after the first full month of the 2018-19 flu season, according to the Delaware Department of Health.
There have been 42 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in the state since the season started Sept. 30. The largest number of cases, 20, have been reported in Kent County, comprising 47.6 percent of all cases. New Castle County is reporting 14 cases, 33.3 percent; and Sussex County is reporting eight cases, 19 percent. There have been 15 hospitalizations since the start of the flu season, including two children. Eighty-eight percent of lab-confirmed cases are influenza strain A. No flu-related deaths have been reported in Delaware as of Nov. 9.
While activity is currently low, the Division of Public Health is continuing to remind Delawareans to get their flu vaccine if they have not already done so.
The flu vaccine is recommended for Delawareans 6 months of age and older. Because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against influenza virus infection to develop in the body, it is recommended to get vaccinated early to give the body time to build immunity. Getting the flu vaccine early will also provide protection during the majority of the flu season.
DPH offers opportunities to become vaccinated throughout the season, including at its public health clinics. A schedule can be found at dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/fluclinics.html.
Flu vaccines are also offered through physician offices, many pharmacies and some grocery stores. To locate where flu vaccines are being offered, Google “CDC flu finder” and enter a ZIP code. DPH provided 171 flu vaccines at its community clinic at the Porter State Service Center in October, and 1,100 at its drive-thru flu clinic in front of DelDOT.
For more, visit flu.delaware.gov or call 800-282-8672.