DOVER, Del. (CBS) —Delaware officials say a 47-year-old man from New Castle County is the first flu-related death of the season.
The Division of Public Health announced Wednesday that the man who was infected with influenza A, passed away at a local hospital last week.
He was a long-term resident of the care facility and reportedly had other health complications, according to the DPH.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the gentleman’s family during this difficult time,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “His death is a reminder of how serious the flu can be, especially among vulnerable populations. We often think of the very young and seniors when we think of the vulnerable, but people at any age with underlying health conditions are also at a greater risk of the flu and serious complications stemming from it.”
There are 46 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in Delaware this season since Dec. 2, with 15 people needing hospitalization, according to the DPH. The number of confirmed cases is four more than last year during the same span of time.
Officials say that along with getting the flu vaccination, people should do the following to stop the spread of the flu:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue, and dispose of tissues immediately; if no tissue is available sneeze or cough into your inner elbow.
- Stay home if you are sick until you are fever free for 24 hours – with a temperature of less than 100◦ F (37.8◦ C), without the use of fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours.
Information for the five state Service Centers providing flu aid and vaccinations can be found here. You can also Google “CDC Flu Finder” and enter your ZIP code.
The DPH also suggests that children 6 months of age and older to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the DPH recommends children 6 months to 8 years old getting vaccinated for the first time should get two doses of vaccine.