FIRST MARYLAND INFLUENZA CASE OF 2013-14 SEASON CONFIRMED

BALTIMORE (October 3, 2013) - Seasonal influenza has officially arrived in Maryland, with the first laboratory-confirmed case identified in a child from the National Capital Region who was briefly hospitalized and is now recovering, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) announced. The flu strain detected was type A (H1N1) influenza. Last season, the first case of influenza was reported on October 19, 2012.

“Maryland’s first confirmed seasonal flu case reminds us of the importance of getting vaccinated to protect ourselves and those around us,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, DHMH Secretary. “Influenza infection can be serious, but it can also be prevented.”

The influenza vaccine protects against both influenza A and B strains, including the H1N1 strain. The vaccine is widely available, and Maryland residents are urged to get protected now by contacting their health care provider, local health department or neighborhood pharmacy.

“We recommend that everyone above the age of 6 months get the seasonal flu vaccine,” said Dr. Laura Herrera, DHMH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services. “Vaccine is available throughout Maryland, and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated now to avoid missing work and school this season.”

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, cough, sore throat, fatigue and body aches.

Influenza vaccine 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 with weakened immune systems.
Persons caring for someone in these groups or for infants too young to be vaccinated should make a special effort to get vaccinated to avoid spreading the disease. This includes 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:
  • Stay home from work and school whenever possible to avoid spreading the flu to your friends and coworkers.
  • 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.
  • Contact your healthcare provider for management of flu symptoms or treatment of any complications.
Stay up-to-date on influenza activity in Maryland by visiting http://dhmh.maryland.gov/fluwatch for weekly updates.

Maryland has an Internet-based Maryland Resident Influenza Tracking Survey (MRITS). 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 at http://flusurvey.dhmh.md.gov/ to receive on-line surveys where you can report any flu-like symptoms each week.

For more information about the seriousness of influenza and the benefits of vaccination, visit http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/influenza/SitePages/Home.aspx or http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ or http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/index.htm or call CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO.

### 
 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

The Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk. Movement of a quarter of a million people joined by local participants in Ocean City, MD.

Ocean City, MD − Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Worcester County are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention. The 8th annual Out of the Darkness Walk, hosted by the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019. As in years past, walkers will gather at Caroline Street and the Boardwalk, with registration beginning at 9am. After opening remarks, the procession will walk to the Inlet, turn and walk to 5th Street, then back to Caroline Street.

Read more ...

Worcester Health partners with Ocean City Fire Department on “Safe Station” project
Station offers 24/7 access to recovery services

Ocean City, MD- Where would you go if you needed help with addiction right now? The Worcester County Health Department, in partnership with the Town of Ocean City Fire Department, has launched a “Safe Station” in Ocean City at the 15th Street Fire Station for those seeking immediate help getting into recovery. The station is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for any individuals seeking treatment services.

Read more ...

In the event of a storm or power outage, it is important to know safety information about food storage and operating generators. Follow the links below for tips about food and generator safety.

Read more ...

(July 31, 2019 Snow Hill, MD) – The Worcester County Health Department received notification from the State of Maryland that a mosquito pool in the Whaleyville area of Worcester County recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This is the first positive test for EEE in Worcester in 2019.

Arboviruses, such as the EEE virus, are most common during the summer and fall months. The viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, eliminating standing water is critical for the control of mosquito populations. Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior.

The Worcester and Wicomico County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection with EEE or other mosquito borne illnesses:

Read more ...

(Snow Hill, MD)- Worcester County Emergency Service officials urge residents to exercise extreme caution and check on elderly and infirm neighbors during the heatwave forecasted to last through Sunday. Heat indexes for the shore are expected to rise above 100 degrees this week and exposure to extreme heat can be dangerous for humans and animals, even deadly.

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program