The Delaware Division of Public Health reports that during the most recent influenza season, six Delawareans passed away from the virus.
According to health experts, just one of the six persons who are suspected of having died from the flu between October 1 and January 20 was vaccinated against the virus. The other five were all over 55. According to the division, three of the deceased came from New Castle County, two from Sussex County, and one from Kent County.
December saw the first suspected flu-related death of the season.
This season, the state has recorded 3,594 flu cases; the last update to the statistics was on January 20, and 379 additional cases were reported during that week. As of January 24, the state reported 110 hospitalizations due to the flu this season.
Health officials report that there were only two flu-related deaths in the 2022 flu season.
The government moved away from “voluntary death data input,” thus even though there seems to have been an increase in flu-related deaths over the last two seasons, a state spokesperson suggested the numbers might not be comparable.
Hospitals used to report flu deaths to state health officials, but there was no official procedure or “official method of capturing,” according to a spokesman.
Who has received vaccinations?
According to the state, fewer than one in three Delawareans obtained the most recent flu shot. People 65 years of age and above had the highest immunization rate (over 30%), with 65% of this age group having received their flu vaccinations. At just 13.4%, Delawareans between the ages of 18 and 34 had the lowest incidence of flu vaccination.
According to state data, 34.6% of Delawareans had their flu vaccines during the 2022 flu season. Overall, the proportion of each age group that received vaccinations stayed quite constant.
In Delaware, cases of respiratory diseases such as the flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have increased recently, leading to the reinstatement of mask requirements by several healthcare systems.