Delaware Public Media

Two more flu cases confirmed before "official" start of flu season

Sep 19, 2018

There are more indications flu season is getting a head start in the First State this year.

 

The season officially begins September 30th, but Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) says it’s already confirmed four flu cases.

 

In addition to the two cases announced last week, DPH now says two more people - a 40-year-old Kent County woman and a 38-year-old New Castle County man - have been diagnosed this week.

 

Those cases mean there has been at least one in each county, making the flu a statewide issue two weeks before this year’s season begins.  

 

With that in mind, Division of Public Health director Dr. Karyl Rattay is urging Delaware residents to get their flu shots sooner rather than later.

 

“We are asking residents not to put off getting their flu vaccine. With flu activity already occurring statewide before the ‘official’ start of the flu season, which is September 30, we are feeling a sense of urgency to make sure people are making plans and appointments to get their flu shot sooner rather than later. It is not too early.”

 

The flu vaccine is recommended for all Delawareans 6 months of age and older. Since the vaccine takes about two weeks to kick in, DPH officials say it is important to get vaccinated as early as possible to give your body time to build immunity.

Last flu season, Delaware recorded over 9,000 flu cases, the highest number of lab-confirmed cases since they started keeping records in 2005. But last season’s first flu cases were not confirmed until late October.

 

The Division of Public Health is offering two free community flu clinics, one in Dover and one in Wilmington, at the beginning of October.  

 

  • Wilmington - Friday, Oct. 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. - outside of the Porter State Service Center at 511 W. 8th St.
  • Dover - Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or until vaccines run out - DelDOT Administration Building, 800 S. Bay Road.