New Castle County woman was 83 years old.

The Division of Public Health reported the second flu-related death of the 2017-18 flu season.

The deceased, an 83-year-old New Castle County woman, recently died at a local hospital. She had multiple underlying health conditions and was a resident of a long-term care facility.

Influenza activity has increased significantly in the last few weeks, and Delaware is seeing more flu activity this season than it did at the same time in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Dec. 22, Delaware has recorded 129 laboratory-confirmed flu cases this season, with 49 of those cases requiring hospitalization. At the same time in 2016, there were 91 laboratory-confirmed cases with 26 hospitalizations and one death.

While DPH continues to encourage flu vaccination for prevention of the flu, the division is encouraging people, particularly those at high risk for complications and who believe they already have the virus, to contact their primary care provider immediately to begin treatment.

DPH is also reaching out to medical providers and encouraging them to begin antiviral treatment for all hospitalized patients and all high-risk patients with suspected influenza. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines — pills, liquid, an inhaled powder or an intravenous solution — that fight against flu in the body. They are only available through a prescription from a health care provider.

For more on influenza prevention, diagnosis and treatment, call 800-282-8672 or visit