Vaccination is Your Best Protection for You and Your Loved Ones
BALTIMORE, MD (October 16, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Health announced today the first confirmed cases of the seasonal flu for the 2018-2019 influenza season. Two laboratory-confirmed cases of seasonal influenza have been identified in one adult and one child in the Central and Eastern Shore regions of Maryland. The confirmed flu strains are type A (H1) and Type B (Victoria).
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,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Fran Phillips, RN, MHA. “Getting vaccinated each year is important, because the strains of influenza that circulate change over time. This season, influenza vaccines have been updated to better match the circulating strains.”
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:
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 and getting vaccinated against influenza.
If you believe you are ill with influenza:
For more information regarding the 2018-2019 updated influenza vaccines and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vaccine recommendations, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2018-2019.htm.
Stay up-to-date on influenza activity in Maryland by visiting https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/influenza/fluwatch/ for weekly updates.
Maryland has an established online 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 might not seek medical care. Please volunteer! Sign up online at http://flusurvey.health.maryland.gov/ to receive an email each week with a link to our surveys where you can report any flu-like symptoms.
For more information about the seriousness of influenza and the benefits of vaccination, visit https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/influenza/ or http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ or http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/index.htm or call CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO.
Marylanders who need help finding substance use disorder treatment resources should visit http://goo.gl/nIfGm0 or call Maryland Crisis Connect, which provides 24/7 support, at 211, press 1. For information on many of the policies currently implemented to fight addiction and overdose in Maryland, see http://goo.gl/KvEzQw. If you know of someone in need of treatment for a substance use disorder, treatment facilities can be located by location and program characteristics on our page at http://goo.gl/rbGF6S.
The Maryland Department of Health is the State agency that protects Maryland’s public health. We work together to promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. Stay connected: http://www.twitter.com/MDHealthDept and http://www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH.
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