6 flu deaths reported in Delaware over last week

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6 flu deaths reported in Delaware over last week: Ali Gorman reports on Action News at 5 p.m., February 12, 2018 (WPVI)

Delaware's public health director says from the start of the season, up to February 3, it had nearly 3,000 lab-confirmed cases of flu. 995 of them were in that last week.

That is the highest they've had in state records.

Sadly, six Delaware residents also died due to complications from the flu virus that week.

The six who died were between 60 and 93 years of age, and all had underlying medical conditions. Five lived in New Castle County.

So far this season, there have been 10 flu-related deaths in Delaware.

And the state health chief says that could go higher because others are in intensive care.

To slow down the spread, she urged everyone to use common sense.

"If you are sick, please do not go to work or go out into the public until you are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication," said Dr. Karyl Rattay.

Rattay also urged sick people to call their primary care office, rather than just showing up at an emergency room.

Antiviral drugs like Tamiflu can be prescribed over the phone, without the risk of infecting others.

Like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other states, Delaware is seeing a higher share of B-strain cases than normal for this time of year.

So even if you've been sick once, get a flu shot if you haven't gotten one already, because it is possible to get sick again.

And while school absentee rates are higher than normal -

"There's no reason for any school to close...because of this," said Rattay.

And there are also other viruses going around this time of year.

As for the flu, we expect high levels of the virus to stick around for several more weeks.

So be sure to wash your hands with soap and water frequently.

Wipe down common surfaces with a disinfectant - and cover all coughs and sneezes, with your elbow or a tissue.

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