The total number of lab-confirmed influenza cases continues to increase in Delaware, and the virus has claimed three more lives, bringing the statewide total to 14 deaths — more than doubling the 2015-16 death total of six — in the 2016-17 flu season, the Division of Public Health reported.

Of the 14 Delawareans who have died from the flu this season, 13 had other health conditions. However, the most recent flu-related death involved a 45-year-old Kent County man who had no known medical conditions beyond being ill with the flu. DPH was not able to verify his vaccination status.

During the last week of March, two New Castle County women passed away from flu-related complications. One was a 53-year-old woman infected with influenza B, and the second, an 88-year-old woman infected with influenza A. Both passed away at local hospitals and had multiple underlying medical conditions.

As of March 25, there are 3,715 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu in Delaware for the 2016-2017 season. Of the 3,715 cases, 1,771 infected individuals are from New Castle County, 1,143 are from Kent County and 801 are from Sussex County. These numbers reflect lab-confirmed cases, and the actual number of illnesses is likely higher.

Those ages 25 and younger continue to make up more than half of this season’s flu cases. However, those 65 and older make up 55 percent of those hospitalized for influenza-like illnesses.

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