Two more people recently died from the flu to bring the death total in Delaware to 13 people so far this flu season.
A 53-year-old and a 70-year-old recently — both with underlying conditions — died, said the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.
The 13 deaths from the flu more than double the total deaths in the First State in every flu season over the past five years (there were 10 deaths combined in the previous three influenza seasons).
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones this flu season,” said DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf. “The number of deaths is unprecedented compared to recent years. We are extremely concerned. The elderly are especially vulnerable this flu season and we urge people to take extra precautions to reduce any possible exposure to the flu virus.”
Some of those measures include staying home when feeling sick, covering up coughs and sneezes and getting vaccinated.
“The flu can be a particularly hard on the elderly and other vulnerable people every year, but extra precautions to protect people’s health is more important now than ever,” said Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Someone can accidental transmit the flu prior to realizing they are ill, so precautions like vaccination, covering coughs and sneezes, and hand sanitizing are vital. Of course, once symptoms begin to show, staying home to avoid further spread of the illness is also important. Prevention remains our best weapon in this fight.”