DOVER — The Division of Public Health (DPH) is reporting two more flu-related deaths that occurred during the last two weeks of February, bringing the 2017-2018 season death total to 30. This number breaks the previous single-season record of 28 flu-related deaths, set in 2014-2015. The deceased were both females, 83 and 84 years old, from New Castle and Kent counties, respectively. Both had multiple underlying health conditions.
The total number of flu cases in Delaware for the season is now at 7,071, also breaking the previous record of 4,554, set in the 2016-2017 season. These numbers only include laboratory-confirmed flu cases and the actual number of flu cases in the state is likely much higher. While overall numbers are at an all-time high, the number of weekly cases has dropped for the second week in a row. There were 381 lab-confirmed flu cases for the week ending March 3, the lowest number of confirmed flu cases in a week since the week ending January 20 when there were 375 confirmed cases. Hospitals and walk-in health clinics are also reporting a drop in patients with influenza-like illnesses.
“We are terribly saddened to learn of even more deaths this flu season,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We’ve never seen a flu season this severe before and hope to never see one again. It’s important for everyone to remember that flu continues to circulate in Delaware, and to keep practicing vital prevention measures such as social distancing and frequent hand washing.”