image description

Maryland sees 1st confirmed case of seasonal flu, urges residents to get shots

October 7th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is announcing the arrival of seasonal influenza, with the first confirmed case of the 2016-2017 influenza season. The first laboratory-confirmed case of the flu has been diagnosed in an adult in the National Capitol Region. With an extended weekend in store for many Marylanders, now is a good time to get a flu shot.

Both Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Van T. Mitchell and Deputy Secretary Haft received their flu shots today at the Charles County Health Department. “We promote awareness of a number of different viruses throughout the year,” said Mitchell. “It’s important for Marylanders to remember that the flu is extremely easy to catch and that it still can cause death.”    

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. Influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. It is especially important for people who are at high risk for influenza-related complications and severe disease including: 

  • Children younger than 5 years old,
  • People 65 and older,
  • Pregnant women,
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives,
  • People of any age with chronic medical conditions, and
  • People undergoing therapy or with a condition that may weaken their immune systems.

People caring for someone in these groups should be vaccinated to avoid spreading the disease to them. These include health workers and household contacts of people at risk for complications from the flu. 

Leave a Reply

 



View Mobile Site