Maryland’s First Seasonal Flu Cases Reported

 BALTIMORE, MD (October 19, 2012) - Seasonal influenza has officially hit in Maryland, with four confirmed cases, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) announced today. The first laboratory-confirmed cases of seasonal influenza have been diagnosed in four children in the Baltimore Metropolitan Region. One of the four was hospitalized, and all four are doing well. Three of the children had type A (H3N2) influenza, while one had type B influenza. Last season, the first confirmed case of influenza was reported on December 30, 2011.



"Flu is here earlier this year than last year, and we are seeing two different flu strains,” said Frances Phillips, DHMH Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services. “This really stresses the importance of getting the flu vaccine, and getting it as soon as possible. Fortunately, there is plenty of vaccine to go around.”

The virus that causes influenza spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing, as well as through direct contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces or objects. Symptoms usually begin one to four days after being exposed to the virus, and include fever, body aches, fatigue, coughing, and sore throat.

Yearly vaccinations are important because the strains of influenza that circulate change over time. This season’s vaccine is aimed at three strains that are expected to be most prevalent this season: Type A /California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus, Type A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus, and Type B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus.

Influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of six months. It is especially important for individuals who are at high risk for influenza-related complications and severe disease, including:

· Children 6 months to 18 years of age;

· Persons 50 years of age and older;
· Pregnant women;
· Persons of any age with chronic medical conditions; and
· Persons undergoing therapy, or with a condition that may weaken their immune systems.

Persons caring for someone in these groups should also be vaccinated to avoid spreading the disease to them. These persons include healthcare workers, household contacts of individuals at risk for complications from the flu, and daycare or school workers.

Contact your healthcare provider, local health department, or neighborhood pharmacy to get vaccinated.

If you believe you are ill with influenza:

· Contact your healthcare provider for management of flu symptoms or treatment of any complications.
· Get rest and drink plenty of fluids.
· Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
· Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and wash your hands often.
· Avoid crowded places like shopping malls or public transportation.
Avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals or other settings where people with other conditions may get your flu and be affected severely. Stay home from work or school whenever possible to avoid spreading the flu to your friends and coworkers.

Stay up-to-date on influenza activity in Maryland by visiting http://dhmh.maryland.gov/fluwatch for weekly updates.



Maryland has an established Internet-based Maryland Resident Influenza Tracking Survey. This tool is designed to enhance the state’s existing influenza surveillance by monitoring influenza-like illnesses among residents who may not seek medical care. Please volunteer! Sign up via the Internet at http://flusurvey.dhmh.md.gov/ to receive on-line surveys where you can report any flu-like symptoms each week.

 

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WCHD News

 

SNOW HILL, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department urges all residents age 6 months and older, including pregnant women and those with medical conditions, to be vaccinated for the 2018-2019 seasonal flu. People age 65 years and older have a choice of two flu vaccines available to them at the Worcester County Health Department. They can choose to receive a regular flu vaccine or a high dose flu vaccine which may result in a stronger immune response against the flu.

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Due to ongoing construction issues, the WACS Center will be closed through October 19 and move services to other locations. The center is scheduled to reopen on Monday, October 22nd.

All services at this site have been relocated to either Snow Hill or the Berlin Health Center. We apologize for any inconvenience. For more information or to check on the status of your appointment, please call 410-632-1100.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

This bacterium is found in the nose, throat and mouth of an infected person, and can be easily spread. Pertussis can occur at any age, but often causes serious problems in babies, and is usually milder in older children and adults. Children who are too young to be fully vaccinated and those that have not received all their vaccinations are at highest risk for severe illness and complications. Complications of pertussis can include pneumonia (infection of the lungs), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), seizures, and other physical and medical outcomes associated with a severe cough.

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Our new Just Walk Worcester website has information on local parks, walking tips, and videos of trails in our area. If you like to walk, check it out! Click the image below to see the new site. 

 

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Snow Hill, MD- Worcester County Health Department will launch “Just Walk Worcester” on October 12. This new website will be an inclusive resource for finding places to walk and explore no matter where you are in the county. The site features maps of all local parks and trails as well as walking tips, helpful videos, and details about each area including the length of trails, if there are any fees and if the spot is pet-friendly. Residents can view drone footage of each trail, allowing walkers to know the ins and outs of the path before they even lace up their shoes.

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