When the state reported its first laboratory confirmed influenza event last week, local health professionals recommend that the county's residents…
When the state reported its first laboratory confirmed influenza event last week, local health professionals recommend that the county’s residents receive their influenza vaccine as soon as possible.
Two laboratory confirmed cases of seasonal flu have been diagnosed in adults and a child in the Central and Eastern Shore regions, announced the Maryland Department of Health on October 16th. The influence strains of the two confirmed cases are Type A (H1) and Type B (Victoria).
Flu, short for influenza, is a contagious respiratory disease that costs the nation billion dollars in lost productivity and negative health costs each year. In addition to causing fever, body fatigue, fatigue, coughing and soreness, flu can lead to complications and even death.
As influenza strains that circulate change from year to year, residents are advised to receive annual vaccinations. And the best time to do it is now.
Influenza season is contemplating at all from the beginning of October to the end of April. In the countryside, an influenza-related death has already been reported in Florida.
A Florida child who did not receive the flu vaccine and did not have an underlying condition, recently, according to Florida Health officials. The death of the child was the first flu-related childbirth reported in the country this flu season.
“It’s a real disease. It’s a real risk,” said St. Mary’s Health Minister Dr. Meena Brewster on the phone last week.
Brewster said it’s too early to tell the trend this year, but this flu season has already had an early start where flu cases were diagnosed well before the confirmed cases were reported by the state this week.
“Like last year, we expect this to be a strong flu season,” she said.
The last school year, St Mary’s public schools saw a tenfold increase in the number of students missing school due to the flu compared with the previous year.
Nationally, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have classified the latest influenza season “a high severity period” that left 1
83 children dead and more than 700,000 people in hospitals across the country. CDC said that 80 percent of the children who died last flu season did not receive flu vaccination.
“One is too many,” said Melanie Gardiner, Head of Health Education Officer at the Charles County Health Department, on the phone last week. “Absolutely vaccinated. Everyone must be vaccinated so we can prevent flu in society.”
While successful influenza vaccines vary from year to year, health experts suggest that it is the best protection against a potentially fatal disease.
Calvert Health Officer Dr. Larry Polsky said on the phone last week that people still get flu after vaccination, but the symptoms are more likely to be less severe and duration shorter.
Because the flu is a highly contagious disease, Polsky emphasized that vaccination protects not only people’s own health but also reduces the chance of transferring them to other particularly vulnerable persons who have compromised immune systems.
Unlike the previous two years, CDC recommends a nasal spray called FluMist for non-pregnant women and those between 2 and 49 years old. People with any medical condition should not receive a vaccine against nasal spray flu.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all eligible children receive a traditional influenza as the first choice and reserve the nasal spray for children who refuse the shot but accept the spray.
“We will not choose pages between two expert groups,” said Polsky. “For anyone who is entitled to the fog, if it is their preference, they should talk to their primary healthcare provider to see if that is a good choice.”
Other preventive measures include washing teeth often, especially after coughing, sneezing, nose blowing or drying and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Residents can get flu vaccines with their primary care physician, some local pharmacies and their local health department.