Released: December 15, 2022
The Delaware County Health Department urges residents to take precautions in response to the rise in respiratory illnesses this winter season. Delaware County, like Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, is experiencing high rates of influenza (flu), COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The current flu season is more intense than it has been in the past 8 years. All Delaware County residents are urged to protect themselves and their families by getting their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible. Test yourself for COVID-19 before making trips to family gatherings. Residents are also urged to wear a high-quality mask (like a KN95 or N95) when attending large indoor gatherings and more importantly- stay home and rest if they are not feeling well.
“The holidays are a time for celebrating and spending time with loved ones,” said Delaware County Health Department Director Melissa Lyon. “Residents should enjoy each other’s company this holiday season but make sure they are protecting those they love- especially older adults, young children, and those who are immunocompromised risk severe illness or hospitalization. The best way to stay happy and healthy this year is to protect yourself.”
The Delaware County Health Department has been tracking the rise of flu in the county since early October. Most recently, during the week ending December 3rd, there were 896 diagnosed cases of flu in Delaware County. This is compared to just 95 cases of flu in Delaware County during this same week last year. As of the week ending December 10th, the Delaware County Health Department confirms 4,180 total cases of influenza this season. Hospital and urgent care visits in Delaware County have spiked in recent weeks as well because of influenza-like illness, with trends increasing. Recently, the CDC estimated that since October 1, there has been at least 8.7 million illnesses, 78,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths from flu in the United States, including a tragic total of 14 pediatric deaths. For more information on flu visit our webpage.
COVID-19 has shown the ability to make its way into our homes during the holidays. Coronavirus is still dangerous, and cases are rising. The Health Department anticipates that the current level of community transmission is higher than is reportable. This is due to the prevalence of at-home testing and residents who may have mild symptoms and do not get tested. As of the week ending December 3rd, Delaware County’s reported incidence rate of new daily COVID-19 cases is 79.6 per 100,000, and the number of weekly new cases was reported at 459. For more information on COVID-19 visit our webpage.
Although we have seen a decrease in Delaware County of RSV in the past few weeks, it is still circulating in the community and making people sick. During the week ending December 3rd, there were a total of 101 cases of RSV. This is a decrease from 275 cases during the week ending November 5th. While RSV can affect individuals of all ages, it can be especially serious for infants, children, and older adults. For more information on RSV visit our webpage.
Please consult your medical provider for symptoms that are severe or concerning.
If you get sick with a respiratory virus, antiviral drugs may be a treatment option. Antiviral drugs work best when started early, such as one to two days after your symptoms begin. Check with your doctor promptly if you are at higher risk of serious complications and you get respiratory symptoms. People at higher risk of respiratory complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant people, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
Residents having trouble accessing COVID-19 or flu vaccines or those who are homebound may call the Delaware County Wellness Line at (484) 276 – 2100 or reach us by email at DelcoWellness@co.delaware.pa.us.