Flu outbreak sweeps nation this season
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
Delaware is one of 12 states where the influenza virus is not considered widespread, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state has reported 943 annual seasonal flu cases this year compared to 262 cases last year.
The state is the only one to report “sporadic influenza activity,” according to the CDC. “Sporadic influenza activity” is defined as isolated laboratory confirmed cases or a laboratory-confirmed outbreak in one institution.
Despite the CDC’s report, there have been more flu cases in Delaware this year than any year in the past decade, according to the organization.
An employee at a local pharmacy said she has noticed an increase in individuals coming in to get vaccinated as compared to other years and believes it is due to increased media coverage of the flu.
The Christiana Hospital also experienced an influx of demand for the vaccine, according to an anonymous pharmacist there.
“Employee services set up tents outside and administered free vaccines for about two weeks,” the pharmacist said. “There were too many people for us to take care of it here in the pharmacy.”
Freshman nursing major Julia Tobin said she stayed on campus for the winter session and was not aware of anyone who caught the virus during at Delaware.
“I didn’t get the flu or even know anyone who had it,” Tobin said.
Freshman biology major Ben Hodesblatt, who also stayed on campus during winter session, said he thought the severity of the epidemic was fairly similar to past years.
“It was worse in high school because we all had the same classes, so instead of a 60-person lecture hall, it was a 20-person classroom,” Hodesblatt said.
Although a doctor never diagnosed Hodesblatt with the flu, he had to miss some class time due to what he believed to be a sickness similar to flu.
“I had a sore throat one second and the next I thought I was going to die,” Hodesblatt said.
The pharmacist could not give her name due to company policy.
Jennifer Haller contributed to the reporting for this article.