The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is reporting the state's first laboratory confirmed case of influenza. The case is a 6 month old Sussex County resident who was treated as an outpatient. The Type A influenza was confirmed in the DPH laboratory by PCR.
In addition to laboratory testing, DPH conducts surveillance for influenza by monitoring the occurrence of influenza like illness (ILI) in all hospitals and selected long term care facilities, large corporations and stand alone medical clinics. Reports are provided to DPH weekly. (ILI is fever equal to or greater than 100 degrees F, oral or equivalent, and cough and/or sore throat, in the absence of a known cause). ILI activity has not increased so far this year. Nor have reports of respiratory symptoms among patients seen in Delaware's emergency rooms, also reported to DPH weekly.
During week 44 (October 29 – November 4, 2006), a low level of influenza activity was reported in the United States. Eighty-four (4.8%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories were positive for influenza. The proportion of patient visits to sentinel providers for influenza-like illness (ILI) and the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza were below baseline levels.
DPH is aware that although vaccine supplies should be plentiful this year, orders are being filled slowly. DPH clinics are being conducted as scheduled.
A DPH clinic schedule can be found here: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/fluclinicschedule2006.html. People in one of the following groups can be vaccinated at DPH clinics (6 months to 18 years require appointment).
A comprehensive schedule can be found at this website: http://www.flucliniclocator.org/
DPH has distributed 9,580 doses of vaccine to Vaccine For Children (VFC) providers in the state. This vaccine is for Medicaid and uninsured children who have enrolled in the VFC program.
DPH strongly encourages other providers (for example, school wellness centers, long term care facilities, physicians, etc.) to submit influenza specimens to the DPH Laboratory for culture confirmation and subtyping (throat/NP/nasal wash) to help with surveillance. Culture and subtype testing by the DPH Laboratory is done free of charge & results are sent back to the requesting physician or hospital as soon as test results are available. To submit a specimen for culture, contact the DPH laboratory (302-223-1520) to request influenza virus isolation kits and obtain information about specimen transport to the laboratory.