Flu Continues to Make Headlines
It’s impossible to visit any news source without being aware of CDC reports that we are currently in the middle of a very active flu season, with much of the country experiencing widespread and intense flu activity. The latest report of pediatric deaths associated with this flu season is 37.
“It’s important to remember that we still have weeks of flu season ahead of us,” said Cindy Mankamyer, RN, Garrett County Health Department. “While the flu vaccines are far from perfect, they are the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu or at least reducing its severity.”
Vaccine continues to be available at the Garrett County Health Department on a walk in basis Monday through Friday from 8 AM – 5 PM at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland, in Room 205, Personal Health. There will be no out of pocket expense; all insurance companies will be billed, including Medicaid and Medicare. Please bring insurance card(s).
“So far this season, influenza A, H3N2, has been the most common form of influenza,” said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, CDC Director. “These viruses are often linked to more severe illness, especially among children and people age 65 and older. When H3 viruses are predominant, we tend to have a worse flu season with more hospitalizations and more deaths.”
“We know that you can reduce your risk of getting the flu through everyday good health habits like covering your mouth when you cough and frequently washing your hands,” said Cindy Mankamyer. “It’s also good to limit contact with others who might be sick. If possible, stay home when you are sick to help prevent the spread of germs and respiratory illnesses like the flu.”
“If you have flu symptoms (which could include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue) you may want to call your doctor because antiviral medications work best when started in the first 48 hour after symptoms begin,” Mankamyer added.
For more information about the flu, or about getting a flu vaccine, call the health department at 301-334-7770 or 301-895-3111.