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)- 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.

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Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

Learn more tips for staying cool and safe during extreme heat by clicking the image below

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Health Department emphasizes the importance of rabies prevention and safety

Snow Hill, MD- The Worcester County Health Department has confirmed eight rabies cases locally since the beginning of 2019, emphasizing the importance of rabies awareness and proper pet vaccination. The latest confirmed positive rabies case was a groundhog found on Manklin Creek Rd in the Ocean Pines area on July 3.

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Men's Health Month

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.

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Summer Wellness Camp

The Worcester County Health Department will host a free, week-long health and wellness camp for youth age 12-17 this summer. From June 17-21, campers will learn about the importance of health, fitness, setting personal goals and much more. The summer camp is part of Worcester Health’s Promoting Health Among Teens program and will feature guest speakers, snacks and lunch, learning activities and field trips to locations around Worcester including the Jolly Roger amusement park in Ocean City.

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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program