Division of Public Health Urges At-Risk Populations to Follow CDC Guidance on Coronavirus Disease

Call center graphic
The Division of Public Health’s coronavirus call center at its State Health Operations Center (SHOC) in Smyrna is open to take questions from the public, schools, medical providers, state agencies and community organizations. The call center number is 1-866-408-1899.

NEW CASTLE (March 9, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) advises older Delawareans and people with severe chronic health conditions to follow guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encouraging them to “avoid crowds as much as possible” as a way to reduce their risk of contracting coronavirus disease.

The CDC has found that early data suggests older people are twice as likely to suffer a serious illness from coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19. Delaware has no confirmed cases, but DPH and other state partners are planning for the likelihood of community transmission.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recommended on Sunday that those at greatest risk – older Americans and those with severe chronic health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes – should abstain from travel.

If you are in the higher-risk groups for getting very sick from COVID-19, the CDC recommends you should:

  • Avoid non-essential travel such as long plane trips and defer all cruise trips worldwide.
  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated space, as much as possible.
  • When you go out in public, including to doctor appointments or dialysis, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
  • Take everyday precaution to keep space between yourself and others.
  • If an outbreak does occur, stay home as much as possible.
  • Stock up on supplies, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, food and water, and other household items.
  • Have a plan in the event you get sick, including discussing with household members, other relatives, and friends to discuss what you might need.

“Because Delaware has a high percentage of older residents and people with severe underlying health conditions, we urge them and their families to follow the CDC’s recommendation to avoid crowds as much as possible,” said Department of Health of Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. “While we are grateful that we don’t have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our state, we are planning for community transmission of the disease. We urge Delawareans to take these important steps to reduce their exposure to the virus and to prepare when community transmission does happen here.”

Older Delawareans, people with severe chronic health conditions and all other members of the public can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or TTY at 1-800-232-5460 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or email DPHCall@delaware.gov. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus

“Our efforts, where before they were focused on containment of the disease, are now focused on mitigating the impact of it when it does occur,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health. Delaware has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of March 9, 15 people have been tested in Delaware; all have been negative. In addition, testing and results are pending for three individuals, two in New Castle County, and one in Kent County. DPH is currently monitoring 18 returning travelers.

The CDC also urges long-term care facilities to be vigilant in preventing the introduction and spread of COVID-19. The Division of Public Health and DEMA are working with DHSS’ Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ), Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) and other community partners to implement strategies and restrictions to keep residents safe and healthy.

Finally, DPH advises that community preparedness planning – recommended by CDC – should include older adults and people with disabilities, and the organizations that support them in their communities, to ensure their needs are taken into consideration. Many of these individuals live in the community, and many depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their independence and their health. For family members and caregivers providing support, the CDC recommends these steps:

  • Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
  • Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.

DPH continues to monitor travelers arriving in the U.S. from countries with a Level 2 or higher Travel Alert (China, Italy, Japan, Iran or South Korea). The CDC recommended that such travelers be monitored for 14 days after their return. During the 14-day period, these persons are asked to remain at home while self-monitoring for symptoms. If any of these persons shows symptoms of fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, the person should call DPH at 1-866-408-1899 immediately to determine next steps, which may include transport to a local hospital for evaluation and testing.

As of March 9, there are more than 111,000 cases of coronavirus disease worldwide, including more than 3,800 deaths. In the United States, there are more than 600 cases and 22 deaths to date. Consistent with the CDC’s guidance, Dr. Rattay said community spread is likely to continue increasing across the country.

CDC officials also have said it is important for families and communities to prepare for what they would do if community spread occurs by recommending:

  • Schools review their infection prevention and control plans in the event there is a local outbreak.
  • Employers review their contingency plans to ensure they are able to operate with adaptations and respond if an employee gets sick.
  • Individuals and families understand steps they can take to help slow the spread of illness, including avoiding travel to hard-hit areas and staying home when sick.

DPH has a strong relationship with hospitals, EMS, and first responder agencies through its partnership with the state’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS). Staff have been holding regular calls with hospitals, medical providers, school superintendents, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), DSHS and EMS agencies.

Delaware is experiencing a particularly serious flu season with 6,000 lab-confirmed cases and 11 deaths statewide, and in addition to getting your flu shot, DPH recommends everyday measures that people can take to prevent the spread of all infections, which would also slow the spread of coronavirus disease:

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. If you use a tissue, dispose of it right away.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, including the backs of your hands and under your nails, for 20 seconds. Or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean commonly used surfaces such as computers, desktops, countertops cabinets, handles and more with disinfectant.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • If you are healthy, the CDC does not recommend buying or using face masks. You should only wear a mask if a health care provider tells you do so.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms (similar to the common cold) to people being severely ill and dying.

For more information and updates related to COVID-19, visit the DPH website at de.gov/coronavirus, where materials can be found in English, Simplified Chinese/Mandarin, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole. In addition to updates on the global coronavirus disease outbreak, the website also contains tips for Delawareans, and the number of returning travelers that DPH is currently monitoring, which is updated regularly.

The most accurate and timely information regarding this outbreak is available through the Division of Public Health, as well as the CDC’s website and social media channels.

View the video from March 7, 2020 on the lab testing happening at the State’s Public Health Laboratory:

 


DPH Announces Delaware’s First Death Associated with Multi-State Outbreak of Vaping-Related Lung Illnesses

DOVER – Today the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) hosted a media call to provide an update on its participation in a multi-state investigation into an outbreak of severe pulmonary disease reported across the country. As of September 27, 2019, 46 states, including Delaware, have reported 805 cases of lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette products (e.g., devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges).

Currently in Delaware, there are 11 cases of vaping-related lung injury that meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition as either probable or confirmed. Additionally, DPH announced today that one of the cases associated with this outbreak involves an individual who died.

“The Division of Public Health is saddened to announce the first death in Delaware associated with this outbreak,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual’s family. This death is a harsh reminder that these illnesses are serious and life-threatening. We continue to recommend that individuals consider refraining from vaping or using e-cigarette products. At this time, no vaping is safe.”

The age range of the individuals involved in the 11 cases is between 15 and 65 years old. The average age of the patients is 29 years old. Eight are New Castle County residents, two are from Kent County, and one is from Sussex County. Eight of the 11 individuals are men and three are women. Ten of the patients reported using products with THC alone or in combination with nicotine e-cigarette products. In one of the 10 cases the use of THC involved vaping medical marijuana. One person reported using e-cigarette products containing nicotine only. There are also two additional cases under investigation.

“The illnesses we are seeing in Delaware and across the nation are severe and extremely concerning, and too many Delawareans are suffering,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Walker, a practicing physician. “Vaping is dangerous, and the best way to avoid this type of lung injury is to abstain from using e-cigarette products, or vaping, altogether.”

“As we continue to learn more in Delaware and across the country, the safest way to avoid lung illness is to stop vaping,” said Governor John Carney. “We will continue to work directly with the Division of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to learn more about what specifically is causing these illnesses, and to take action that will prevent this from affecting more Delawareans.”

The CDC launched its investigation into the lung illnesses on Aug. 1, 2019, and has worked closely since then with the Food and Drug Administration, states and other public health partners, and clinicians to determine the cause. No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified in these patients, therefore lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure. The investigation has not yet identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases. Many patients report using e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, fever, or weight loss. Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks. Gastrointestinal symptoms sometimes preceded respiratory symptoms. Fever, tachycardia, and elevated white blood cell count have been reported in the absence of an identifiable infectious disease.

What the public can do:
• DPH strongly encourages people not to use e-cigarette products, particularly those containing THC – whether the THC product is legal or illegal. The use of regulated THC products has been reported in cases of severe lung injury in other states in addition to Delaware.

• People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever) and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns. People with underlying chronic respiratory conditions are particularly susceptible to increased effects or impacts of using e-cigarette products.

• Although there is risk with any vaping product, people should not buy these products off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer. E-cigarette products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.

• Individuals who may be concerned about their health after using an e-cigarette product should contact their health care provider, or the local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, call the Delaware Quitline at 1-866-409-1858. Youth who smoke or vape can contact the American Lung Association’s NOT on Tobacco Cessation Program (NOT) for teens (1-800-LUNGUSA). The Truth Initiative also operates a text cessation program. To participate text “DITCHJUUL” to 887-09.

• Individuals who are vaping illegal THC products and need help stopping the use of marijuana should contact the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health’s Crisis Line. In New Castle County the number is 1-800-652-2929 and in Kent and Sussex Counties it is 1-800-345-6785.

DPH recently issued a health alert to Delaware medical providers advising them of the CDC outbreak investigation and providing guidance for reporting possible cases. Clinicians should report cases of significant respiratory illness of unclear etiology and a history of vaping to the Delaware Division of Public Health, Bureau of Epidemiology (24/7) at 1-888-295-5156.

Health care providers should also ask all patients who report e-cigarette product use within the last 90 days about signs and symptoms of pulmonary illness. If e-cigarette product use is suspected as a possible cause for a patient’s lung disease, a detailed history of the substances used, the sources, and the devices used should be obtained, and efforts should be made to determine if any remaining product, devices, and liquids are available for testing.

Among teenagers, experimentation with electronic or e-cigarettes became very popular, starting about 2015. According to the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of public high school students, 38 percent reported ever trying e-cigarettes, 13.6 percent of students had used e-cigarettes in the past month, and 1.9 percent were smoking or “vaping” e-cigarettes daily.

E-cigarette use is also catching on with adults. According to the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, about 4.8 percent of Delaware adults currently use e-cigarettes, about the same prevalence as the 2016 survey. However, 12.7 percent of 18- to 24-year-old adults and 21.3 percent of males age 18-24 are “current users” of e-cigarettes.

In 2017, more than half of the adults who “vaped” e-cigarettes (56.4 percent) also were current smokers, thereby increasing potential harm. Among current smokers, 28.6 percent also used e-cigarettes at least some days of the week. According to the CDC, while e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others, scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.

For more information and updates on the CDC’s multi-state investigation, go to https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


DPH Provides Update on Vaping-Related Lung Illnesses in Delaware

DOVER – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) continues to participate in a multi-state investigation into an outbreak of severe pulmonary disease reported across the country. As of today, 38 states, including Delaware, have reported cases of lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette products (e.g., devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies cases as probable or confirmed based on case definition. Since DPH released its initial Sept. 9, 2019, press release announcing three possible cases of vaping-related lung illnesses under investigation in Delaware, two of the three cases were identified as meeting the CDC case definition of “probable.” Four additional cases have since been classified as probable, resulting in a total of six probable cases as of today. Currently, Delaware does not have any cases classified as confirmed. There are an additional five cases under investigation.

Of the six probable cases, the individuals range from ages 15 to 45. Five are New Castle County residents, and one is from Kent County. Four of the six individuals are men and two are women. Some individuals reported use of e-cigarette products containing THC, as well as e-cigarette products containing nicotine, and some reported using e-cigarette products containing only THC.

As of Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, there were 530 probable or confirmed cases of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products reported throughout the United States, according to the CDC. Seven deaths related to this outbreak have been reported in six states.

“As we continue to investigate additional cases of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette products, we strongly recommend that individuals avoid using e-cigarette products,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “These illnesses can be life-threatening.” More research needs to be done on the long-term impacts, but the CDC has stated that the aerosol used in e-cigarettes contains harmful substances such as nicotine, lead products and cancer-causing agents.

The CDC launched its investigation into the lung illnesses on Aug. 1, 2019, and has worked closely since then with the Food and Drug Administration, states and other public health partners, and clinicians to determine the cause. No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified in these patients, therefore lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure. The investigation has not yet identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases. Many patients report using e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, fever, or weight loss. Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks. Gastrointestinal symptoms sometimes preceded respiratory symptoms. Fever, tachycardia, and elevated white blood cell count have been reported in the absence of an identifiable infectious disease.

What the public can do:
While this investigation is ongoing, DPH strongly encourages people not to use e-cigarette products. People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever) and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns.

Although there is risk with any vaping product, people should not buy these products off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer. E-cigarette products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.

Individuals who may be concerned about their health after using an e-cigarette product should contact their health care provider, or the local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, call the Delaware Quitline at 1-866-409-1858. Youth who smoke or vape can contact the American Lung Association’s NOT on Tobacco Cessation Program (NOT) for teens (1-800-LUNGUSA). The Truth Initiative also operates a text cessation program. To participate text “DITCHJUUL” to 887-09.

DPH recently issued a health alert to Delaware medical providers advising them of the CDC outbreak investigation and providing guidance for reporting possible cases. Clinicians should report cases of significant respiratory illness of unclear etiology and a history of vaping to the Delaware Division of Public Health, Bureau of Epidemiology (24/7) at 1-888-295-5156.

Health care providers should also ask all patients who report e-cigarette product use within the last 90 days about signs and symptoms of pulmonary illness. If e-cigarette product use is suspected as a possible cause for a patient’s lung disease, a detailed history of the substances used, the sources, and the devices used should be obtained, and efforts should be made to determine if any remaining product, devices, and liquids are available for testing.

Among teenagers, experimentation with electronic or e-cigarettes became very popular, starting about 2015. According to the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of public high school students, 38 percent reported ever trying e-cigarettes, 13.6 percent of students had used e-cigarettes in the past month, and 1.9 percent were smoking or “vaping” e-cigarettes daily.

E-cigarette use is also catching on with adults. According to the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, about 4.8 percent of Delaware adults currently use e-cigarettes, about the same prevalence as the 2016 survey. However, 12.7 percent of 18- to 24-year-old adults and 21.3 percent of males age 18-24 are “current users” of e-cigarettes.

In 2017, more than half of the adults who “vaped” e-cigarettes (56.4 percent) also were current smokers, thereby increasing potential harm. Among current smokers, 28.6 percent also used e-cigarettes at least some days of the week. According to the CDC, while e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others, scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.

For more information and updates on the CDC’s multi-state investigation, go to https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html.

 

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


DPH Investigating Possible Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Illnesses in Delaware

DOVER – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is advising Delaware residents that it is participating in a multi-state investigation into an outbreak of severe pulmonary disease reported across the country. As of today, 33 states, including Delaware, have reported possible cases of lung illnesses associated with use of e-cigarette products (e.g., devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges).

While there are no confirmed cases in Delaware at this time, DPH is currently investigating three possible cases among Delaware residents. As of Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, there are more than 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products being investigated nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). Five deaths related to this outbreak have been confirmed.

“The rising number of lung illnesses across the country that are associated with the use of e-cigarette products is incredibly alarming,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We strongly encourage individuals, especially youth, to avoid using e-cigarette products. I cannot stress this point strongly enough – these illnesses can be life-threatening.” More research needs to be done on the long-term impacts, but the CDC has stated that the aerosol used in e-cigarettes contains harmful substances such as nicotine, lead products and cancer-causing agents.

The CDC launched its investigation into the lung illnesses on Aug. 1, 2019, and has worked closely since then with the Food and Drug Administration, states and other public health partners, and clinicians to determine the cause. No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified in these patients, therefore lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure. The investigation has not yet identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases. Many patients report using e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, fever, or weight loss. Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks. Gastrointestinal symptoms sometimes preceded respiratory symptoms. Fever, tachycardia, and elevated white blood cell count have been reported in the absence of an identifiable infectious disease.

What the public can do:
While this investigation is ongoing, DPH strongly encourages people not to use e-cigarette products. People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever) and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns.

Regardless of the ongoing investigation, people who use e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer. E-cigarette products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.

Individuals who may be concerned about their health after using an e-cigarette product should contact their health care provider, or the local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, call the Delaware Quitline at 1-866-409-1858. Youth who smoke or vape can contact the American Lung Association’s NOT on Tobacco Cessation Program (NOT) for teens (1-800-LUNGUSA). The Truth Initiative also operates a text cessation program – to participate text “DITCHJUUL” to 887-09.

DPH recently issued a health alert to Delaware medical providers advising them of the CDC outbreak investigation and providing guidance for reporting possible cases. Clinicians should report cases of significant respiratory illness of unclear etiology and a history of vaping to the Delaware Division of Public Health, Bureau of Epidemiology (24/7) at 1-888-295-5156.

Health care providers should also ask all patients who report e-cigarette product use within the last 90 days about signs and symptoms of pulmonary illness. If e-cigarette product use is suspected as a possible cause for a patient’s lung disease, a detailed history of the substances used, the sources, and the devices used should be obtained, and efforts should be made to determine if any remaining product, devices, and liquids are available for testing.

Among teenagers, experimentation with electronic or e-cigarettes became very popular, starting about 2015. According to the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of public high school students, 38 percent reported ever trying e-cigarettes, 13.6 percent of students had used e-cigarettes in the past month, and 1.9 percent were smoking or “vaping” e-cigarettes daily.

Experimentation with e-cigarettes is also catching on with adults. According to the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, about 4.8 percent of Delaware adults currently use e-cigarettes, about the same prevalence as the 2016 survey. However, 12.7 percent of 18- to 24-year-old adults and 21.3 percent of males age 18-24 are “current users” of e-cigarettes.

In 2017, more than half of the adults who “vaped” e-cigarettes (56.4 percent) also were current smokers, thereby increasing potential harm. Among current smokers, 28.6 percent also used e-cigarettes at least some days of the week. According to the CDC, while e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others, scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.

For more information and updates on the CDC’s multi-state investigation, go to https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


DPH Advises Delaware Residents of Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak Involving Turkey Products

 

Image credit: FDA. Thermometer in cooked turkey

DOVER – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is advising Delawareans of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products. According to the CDC, 164 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported in 35 states, including one person in Delaware. Of the cases reported nationally, 63 people have been hospitalized. No Delawareans have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported from Delaware. One death was reported from California.

The CDC says the outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products and live turkeys. Of the 85 people interviewed, 44 (52 percent) reported preparing or eating turkey products that were purchased raw, including ground turkey, turkey pieces and whole turkey. People who were ill reported buying many different brands of raw turkey products from multiple stores. Additionally, three of the 85 people who were interviewed said they became sick after pets in their home ate raw ground turkey pet food. Another three people interviewed worked in a facility that raises or processes turkeys, or lived with someone who did.

A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday period, the CDC is not advising consumers to avoid eating properly cooked turkey, and is not advising retailers to stop selling raw turkey products. However, individuals should follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw turkey:

  • Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkey can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and will make you sick.
  • Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another if hands have Salmonella germs on them. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
  • Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they are touched by raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.
  • Thaw turkey (https://www.cdc.gov/features/turkeytime/index.html) in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter.

Most people with Salmonella infections develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. Children younger than 5, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.

People who experience these symptoms should seek medical attention.

For more information about this outbreak, visit https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/reading-07-18/index.html . For more information about preventing Salmonella infection, visit https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/prevention.html.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.