As of December 5th 2014, Delaware has seen 59 cases of confirmed influenza. One patient (apparently an elderly person) has died. Most cases, so far, have been in Sussex County.
It could be worse, right? In fact, it probably will get worse. The strains of flu going around this year are reported to be quite invasive. And, unfortunately, this year’s flu vaccine may not help as much as we’d hoped, though it’s always better to get vaccinated.
The AMA informs us that ABC New’s Chief Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser explains it like this:
“Dr. Besser explained that the makers of the flu shot ‘guessed wrong’ in their selection of the virus to base the shot on. ‘Between the time they selected the strain for the vaccine in February and now, the flu strain in the community mutated. So, that the vaccine no longer provides protection,’ he added. Besser explained that the shot is ‘not going to work the way a flu vaccine normally works. But it should provide some level of protection and some protection is better than none.’ Besser said the flu season is ‘going to be severe for two reasons: one is, it’s a bad match. But the particular strain that’s in the community in past outbreaks has caused more severe disease, more people in the hospital.'”
In other words, it’s likely to be a bad season. But we’re still better off being vaccinated.
— David Epstein, MD