Delaware Public Media

Flu-related deaths in Delaware now at 14 this season

Apr 7, 2017

State health officials say Delaware has seen three new flu-related deaths.

The Division of Public Health reports all three deaths linked to the flu came in the final week of March.

And for the first time, a person without underlying medical condition has died.  DPH says that person, a 45-year-old Kent County man, had no known significant underlying medical conditions beyond being ill with the flu. It’s unclear if the man had gotten a flu shot this year.

"This is a reminder that even healthy people can get sick enough to miss work or school for a significant amount of time, be hospitalized or suffer the most serious consequences," said Dept. of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker in a statement. "If you think you have the flu, limit your contact with others. Flu is easy to transmit and you can pass it on to your children, other family members, friends, and co-workers long before you know you are ill.” 

The other two new fatalities came in New Castle County - a 53-year-old woman and an 88-year-old woman. Both had multiple underlying medical conditions

The state has now seen 14 flu-related deaths this season; more than double the six deaths in Delaware all last season – but half the 28 reported in 2014-2015.

And the number of confirmed cases statewide remains the highest it’s been in over a decade. DPH reports that as of March 25, there are 3,715 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu this season. About 47.7 percent (1,771) have come in New Castle County.  Nearly 30.8 percent (1,143) have been in Kent County, and just under 21.6 percent (801) in from Sussex County.