Delaware Reports First Flu-related Death of Season

Delaware Reports First Flu-related Death of Season

As of December 2, there are 46 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in DE for the 2017-2018 season with 15 requiring hospitalization.

In the United States last season, overall vaccine effectiveness against all circulating flu viruses was 39 percent and the effectiveness was only a bit lower, 32 percent, against H3N2 viruses.

Officials say over the last three seasons, there have been 19 pediatric influenza deaths in NY and an average of 11,183 influenza-related hospitalizations each season. In Australia, the government reported most of the known influenza cases were H3N2, and Australian labs diagnosed more than two and a half times more cases of the flu this year (compared to last). Reports say that this year's vaccine is only 10% effective.

And despite recommendations from the World Health Organization to use flu vaccination to help protect people in high-risk populations, few developing countries have seasonal flu vaccination programs or the capacity to produce and distribute seasonal or pandemic vaccines, it said.

State health officials nonetheless recommend New Yorkers get vaccinated if they haven't already.

The DPH also suggests that children 6 months of age and older to be vaccinated as soon as possible. You may have joined this year's early flu season. Influenza season occurs primarily from October through May, often peaking in February.

It is not too late to get vaccinated, and there are ample amounts of the vaccine available, Zucker said.

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Beth Lantrip, infection preventionist with Hendrick Medical Center, said that in Public Health Region 2/3 - which includes Abilene - the current Influenza Activity Level is "Local", above "Minimal" and "Sporadic", but below "Regional" and "Widespread".

And it's not only for your own health, but also for the safety of others.

A large, worldwide survey conducted by the CDC and several of its global health partners suggests that significantly more people than previously estimated die from influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year.

"Vaccination is the best way to protect against influenza, and is especially important for healthcare workers", said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

The prevalence of the flu prompted the face mask rule, which first went into effect during the 2013-14 influenza season.

Amendments to the regulations allow for the removal of masks when health care workers are accompanying patients in the community, providing speech therapy services, or communicating with persons who lip read.

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