As flu season gets underway, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) has launched the My Healthy Community (MHC) flu dashboard. The dashboard shares weekly and seasonal data on positive cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and, for the first time, vaccinations in the state.
In a press release, DPH said the dashboard is “intended to provide an accurate picture of flu activity among Delawareans and make influenza data readily and easily available.” DPH said that updates will occur weekly on Thursdays for local data, and monthly for other geographies.
“We are extremely excited to leverage the power and popularity of the My Healthy Community data portal platform to share the most currently available data on influenza,” said DPH Interim Director Dr. Rick Hong. “The portal has become most well-known for providing real time COVID-19 data. Now we can bring that same level of detail and transparency to the public with flu data as well.”
DPH noted that the dashboard’s rollout comes as flu cases have “soared dramatically” in the state. In terms of data collection and reporting, DPH said that since many medical providers offer rapid flu tests in their offices, data is not being consistently reported statewide to DPH. Thus, the number of lab-confirmed cases is likely an under-representation of the total level of flu in the community.
Despite the spike in cases, DPH said flu-related hospitalizations for the season remain low. DPH also said it is working through data suppression issues on MHC to be able to add that data to the dashboard. Data for these categories will be available at the county level and will be broken down by age group.
Like many other states, DPH said it is concerned about having flu, RSV, and COVID-19 respiratory viruses all circulating at the same time. However, it did note that RSV data is not currently planned to be added to the new dashboard. Rather, it will continue to be reported on the DPH website’s influenza surveillance page and may also be accessed in the data section of flu.delaware.gov.