Delaware Public Media

Delaware health officials report three new flu deaths

Mar 15, 2017

Flu season in Delaware shows no signs of letting up, with state health officials is reporting three more deaths associated with the flu.

The state’s Division of Public Health says two New Castle County men and another in Kent County have died from flu-related causes in the past 3 and a half weeks.

The three were between the ages of 55 and 65 and each was also being treated for underlying health conditions.

The three deaths bring the state’s flu death total to 8 this season.  That’s more than the six flu-related deaths in Delaware all last season. 

Officials also say the number of flu cases in the First State continues to significantly outpace last year.  This year the state has seen 2,712 lab confirmed cases compared to just 416 at this time a year ago.  New Castle County has been hit hardest with 1,412 (52 percent) of the state's cases.  There's been 756 (28 percent) cases confirmed in Kent County, and 544 (20 percent) in Sussex County. DPH emphasizes these numbers reflect lab-confirmed cases and the actual number of flu cases in Delaware is likely much higher.

DPH also notes flu season peaked later last season – with a spike in cases in March and the first flu-related death not reported until March 14th.

This year the flu is affecting young and old alike.  Young people 25 and under account for 56 percent of flu cases in Delaware – but 55 percent of those hospitalized by the flu are those 65 and older.