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Flu activity picking up in Maryland

March 16th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

After getting a slow start to the influenza season, flu activity in Maryland has ramped up in recent weeks. While the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced the first laboratory-confirmed case of seasonal influenza in November 2015, flu activity remained at low levels before increasing substantially in late February and early March. Most of this increased activity has been due to influenza type A (H1N1). This year's influenza vaccine formulation includes the A (H1N1) strain. 

Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that may lead to serious complications, hospitalization or even death. 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. Common symptoms include fever, body aches, fatigue, coughing and sore throat. Symptoms usually begin one to four days after being exposed to the virus.  

The influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from becoming ill with influenza. Yearly vaccinations are important because the strains of influenza that circulate change over time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone older than 6 months get the flu vaccine. It is not too late to get vaccinated, and Maryland residents are urged to get protected now by contacting their health care provider, local health department or neighborhood pharmacy.  

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