Karyl Rattay

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Health officials say the first confirmed case of seasonal flu has been confirmed in Delaware.

Delaware's Division of Public Health announced Thursday that lab tests confirmed that a 27-year-old Kent County man had influenza A strain of the flu. The man was not hospitalized.

Health officials say in the last flu season, Delaware had 2,064 confirmed flu cases. Six were fatal.

DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay urged all Delawareans 6 months of age and older to get flu shots.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials are rolling up their sleeves to fight the flu, and encouraging you to do so as well.

Gov. Jack Markell is joining Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, and state Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in urging Delawareans to get their flu shots.

Markell planned to get his yearly flu shot at a press conference Thursday at which officials also will tout the first drive-thru flu clinic in Kent County.

CBC / Centers for Disease Control and Prvention

Delaware will be using some $813-thousand in grant money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat the Zika virus.

The funds will allow the First State to hire a new epidemiologist and physician to fight the virus.

It will also help fund the efforts to trap mosquitos and test samples.

$180-thousand will go for the epidemiologist and a part time physician.

Another $270-thousand will go to a lab for testing, planning and surveillance while $166-thousand will directly pay for mosquito control.

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There were 92 cases of flu in Delaware last week -- twice as many as there was the week before.

And, state officials are calling on residents to get their flu shots.

This comes on top of the flu outbreak that occurred at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington.

Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public health, said that this year’s vaccine is a good match for what the kind of flu cases they have been seeing.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there had been 100 confirmed cases during the flu season as of February 13th.

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The Walgreens in Delaware is looking at selling Narcan without a prescription

The drug also known as naloxone is used to reverse a drug overdose from an opioid.

Dr. Karyl Rattay, head of the Delaware Division of Public Health, said that this would enable family and friends to save more lives.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that currently the drug is available without a prescription in the state but only if community members attend medication training sessions by the state.

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The Delaware Division of Public Health is pushing hepatitis C screening for baby boomers and intravenous drug users.

The state agency is set to launch the campaign next month to get doctors and substance abuse clinicians more information on who is at risk.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Delaware is one of seven states that does not generally report the number of such cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Karyl Rattay says that the campaign will also help get a better handle on the numbers in the state.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say a 6-year-old Sussex County girl is recovering after contracting West Nile Virus.
 
Officials said Thursday that the girl's illness, which resulted in a brief hospital stay, is the first human West Nile Virus case reported in Delaware since 2013.
 
Public Health director Dr. Karyl Rattay said the case is a reminder that mosquito-borne virus is still active in Delaware.
 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware health officials say the state is seeing a record number of influenza cases and deaths this flu season.

Officials announced Thursday that there have been 2,309 lab-confirmed flu cases so far this season. That surpasses the 2,247 cases confirmed in the 2009-2010 H1N1 outbreak dubbed "swine flu."

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Minors will not be allowed to use tanning beds in the state of Delaware.

Governor Jack Markell signed the legislation into law yesterday.

Previously those who were between the ages of 14 to 18 could use the beds with parental consent.

Dr. Karyl Rattay, head of the state Division of Public Health, said it was a matter of preventing skin cancer.

The measure passed with a near unanimous vote in the state legislature.

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A Delaware legislative committee approved a measure yesterday that would bar minors from buying e-cigarettes.

And, that means it will go to the full state House of Representative.  

Currently, there is no reference in the law to e-cigarettes and minors.

WBOC reports that data shows there has been an uptick in the use of e-cigarettes by minors in the First State.

Dr. Karyl Rattay, head of the state Division of Public Health, told the station that the state has seen a one year doubling in the use among middle and high school students.  

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Public health officials say health care providers can use an influenza vaccine containing mercury as a preservative because there are shortages of the mercury-free vaccine during the flu epidemic.

The Division of Public Health said Tuesday that the use of mercury-containing vaccine for pregnant women and children younger than 8 years is normally banned. However, the DPH director can allow use of such vaccines.