Saturday, January 26, 2013
By MARY TABLANTE
Capital News Service
Saturday, January 26
The flu strain that has been making many sick in Maryland and around the country may be peaking, but that doesn't mean it's time to cease precautions and skip the flu shot. Other strains could circulate, keeping the flu around for months. Overall, the intensity of flu-like illnesses in Maryland remains high, according to the latest Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene report for the week ending Jan. 19. The influenza virus was geographically widespread according to the last report, meaning there is flu activity throughout different regions, said David Blythe, a medical epidemiologist with the state. While the virus is difficult to predict, he said there is a possibility the flu has peaked and is headed toward a decline. Even …
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Does a flu shot cause the flu? Do healthy people need a shot? Here are the answers to some myths to demystify the virus.
The flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family. However, misconceptions about vaccination persist. Here are 7 common myths about vaccination. Flu Myth #1 A Flu Shot Causes the Flu No, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. The influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufacturers kill the viruses used in the vaccine during the process of making vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe. In randomized, blinded studies, where some people get flu shots and others get salt-water shots, the only differences in symptoms was increased soreness in the arm and redness at the injection site among people who got the…
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Experts suggest washing hands regularly and keeping the immune system strong to help avoid getting the flu.
The Carroll County Health Department and area pharmacies are reporting that there are very limited quantities of the flu vaccine available in the area. A health department representative said that they are out of children's vaccines and have a handful of vaccines for adults left. Several Westminster pharmacies including Target, Weiss and Rite Aid said they are out of the vaccine. A Giant Pharmacy representative said they have a very limited supply. "We are out," a representative of the Westminster Target Pharmacy said. "They have been on backorder, we're having trouble getting them in." Pharmacies in the Sykesville area, including Walgreens and WalMart, said they are out of the vaccine. The CVS at 1438 Liberty Rd in Eldersburg has "minimal…
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Doctors are still urging residents to get a flu shot.
The number of flu cases in Maryland have dropped over the last week, but health officials are still pushing residents to get the flu vaccine, according to a report in The Gazette. The week ending Dec. 29, 10.1 prcent of people visiting doctors were for the flu and the week ending Jan. 5 only 3.5 percent of people visiting doctors were there for the flu, according to a report from the state. Maryland’s flu season might have peaked, but the number of cases remains widespread statewide and health officials are still urging people to be vaccinated, a state epidemiologist said Monday. The numbers are still higher than the past two flu seasons, according to the Gazette report. Find out where to get a flu shot in Carroll County.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Google Flu Trends "uses aggregated Google search data to estimate current flu activity around the world in near real-time," its website stated.
Flu cases appear to be rising still in Maryland, according to Google Flu Trends, which "uses aggregated Google search data to estimate current flu activity around the world in near real-time," the Google Flu Trends website stated. Google Flu Trends data indicates that the number of flu cases in Maryland started rising in mid-November. As of Jan. 11, the flu has reached the "intense" category in Maryland, whereas at this time last year, the number of flu cases was only in the "moderate" range. Carroll Hospital said this week it was among the hospitals in the region seeing a spike in flu cases. "We're seeing more in the last few weeks than we saw at this time last year," said Elizabeth Fuss, RN and Infection Control/Associate Health manager …
Monday, January 7, 2013
Social events over the holidays could be one reason the contagious virus spread quickly in December, according to a Carroll Hospital Center representative.
Carroll Hospital Center is seeing more flu cases this year than it did last year at this time, consistent with regional trends, according to a hospital representative. "We're seeing more in the last few weeks than we saw at this time last year," said Elizabeth Fuss, RN and Infection Control/Associate Health manager at Carroll Hospital Center. Fuss said that she expects one reason there is a higher incidence of the Influenza virus is that it hit the community prior to the holidays. "It hit at a time when people generally get together and are more social," Fuss said. "No one wants to say they don't feel well enough to go to a special family event over the holidays--and that's how the flu spreads." Fuss said that health officials would prefer…
Monday, December 17, 2012
Google Flu Trends uses search data to estimate the prevalence of the disease around the world.
Flu cases are on the rise, according to Flu Trends, a Google-run site that uses search data to estimate the prevalence of the disease around the world in real time. The latest figures indicate that flu activity in Maryland is in the high to intense range. At this time last year, the incidence of the virus was considered low to moderate in the state. The story is much the same for the Washington, D.C. area, where flu activity also registers in the high to intense range. In general, the Southeast is seeing the U.S.'s highest levels of flu activity, while the West is seeing lower infection rates. The best places to escape the flu, according to the site: South America, South Africa, and Australia. Or—better yet—consider getting a flu shot. (…