Flu Remains Steady in Maryland

 (Baltimore, MD) January 18, 2013 – Weekly surveillance indicates that influenza remains steady around Maryland, but some indicators suggest declines. The pattern in Maryland is consistent with what is being seen in some other parts of the country. At the same time, however, laboratory testing confirmed this week that a Baltimore area child who died in December tested positive for influenza. The child also had an underlying health condition.

For the week that ended on January 12, emergency department visits for influenza-like illness were up, as were the number of people who reported that they had influenza-like illness to Maryland’s influenza tracking survey (MRITS). Influenza associated hospitalizations were down, as were the proportion of positive lab tests. More information about Maryland influenza activity can be found at: http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov/influenza/fluwatch

An annual vaccination remains the best way to prevent influenza and its related complications, and it’s not too late to get vaccinated. While some healthcare providers no longer have influenza vaccine available, there is still vaccine in Maryland; DHMH urges people whose usual healthcare provider no longer has influenza vaccine available to check in with other community vaccinators, such as pharmacies, heath departments or other healthcare providers.

People who develop influenza-like illnesses (fever plus cough or sore throat) should stay home from work or school while they’re sick. Most people recover from influenza within a few days to less than two weeks, even without any specific treatment. However, certain people who might be at greater risk of complications if they get influenza should check in with their healthcare provider if they develop an influenza-like illness, to see if they might benefit from an antiviral medication, like Tamiflu. Those people include young children, people at 65 and over, people with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women.

Laboratory testing confirmed influenza infection in the child who died. Out of privacy concerns, DHMH will not release any additional information about the child. This is the first Maryland influenza-associated pediatric death reported during this 2012-2013 influenza season, and the first since the 2009-2010 season, when there were two influenza-associated pediatric deaths.

Only pediatric influenza-associated deaths are required to be reported to DHMH. The Department does not have data related to adult influenza-related deaths. Additional information about influenza is available at: http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov/influenza/

 

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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. Read more ...

    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