The Delaware Division of Public Health reported the state's first laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza for the 2017-2018 flu season.

Six individuals have been diagnosed with the flu. Three of them were hospitalized due to the illness. They include a 66-year-old male and an 81-year-old female from New Castle County and a 73-year-old Kent County female. Each of the people who were hospitalized had underlying health conditions. The remaining individuals were not hospitalized. They are: a 48-year-old male and a 32-year-old female from Kent County, and a 42-year-old New Castle County male. There are two main types of influenza virus that routinely spread in people and are responsible for seasonal flu outbreaks each year. All six cases of the lab-confirmed influenza cases are type A.

DPH encouraged Delawareans 6 months of age and older to get vaccinated if they have not yet done so. Because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is recommended to get the flu shot as early as possible to give the body time to build immunity. The intranasal vaccine is not being recommended this year based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s analysis, which showed the intramuscular vaccine was better at protecting against certain strains of influenza.

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