Flu Level Spikes in Maryland

| January 9, 2018

Influenza rate has spiked suddenly here in Maryland. Flu intensity is now listed at the highest level and widespread. In the US, 13 children have died this year from the flu.

Evolve Medical Clinics influenza report for Anne Arundel County

Flu rate has spiked in Maryland.

At the same time, the influenza strain being detected this year is H3N2 and according to a commentary published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the flu vaccine may only be 10% effective against this year’s strain

Flu Spikes Across US

Nationwide, the flu virus continues to spread rapidly, including Maryland. The CDC’s latest report shows flu activity is “high” to “extremely high” in a number of regions. Maryland is currently listed as orange in the map to the left, which is high level of influenza activity but not red, which is the highest.

The CDC released an urgent alert to doctors reminding them that the anti-viral treatments (like Tamiflu) should be started as soon as possible and recommending that treatment “should not be delayed even for a few hours”. CDC Health Alert Network, Dec 27, 2017. 

The CDC adds that even though the antiviral medicine works best if started in the first 48 hours of the illness, there can still be some benefit beyond 48 hours and therefore the recommendation is to give Tamiflu up to 72 hours after onset of illness. 

Learn about what you can do to prevent you and/or your family from getting the flu–and what to do if you do get the flu.

Start with some fast facts: 

  • Between 3,000 to 49,000 people die every year from the flu
  • 200,000 people are hospitalized every year due to flu

    In 1918, the flu killed 20 million worldwide and killed 500,000 in the US alone.

  • 5-20% of the population gets the flu each year, on average
  • People are contagious from the day BEFORE symptoms start
  • People are contagious for 5-10 days AFTER the illness starts (days after they feel better and return to work or school.)
  • The main flu virus this year IS covered by the flu vaccine

What are the symptoms of flu to look for?Flu on the rise in Maryland from Evolve Medical Clinics, the highest rated primary care and urgent care serving Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Stevensville, Arnold, Severna Park, Pasadena, Glen Burnie, Crofton, Bowie, Stevensville, Crownsville, Millersville and Anne Arundel County

Symptoms usually start very suddenly and often include:

  • Fever of 100.4°F to 104°F, which can reach 106°F (41°C)
  • Body aches and pain
  • Headache
  • Pain when you move your eyes.
  • Fatigue, a general feeling of sickness
  • Loss of appetite.
  • A dry cough, runny nose, and dry or sore throat.

Influenza usually does not cause symptoms in the stomach or intestines, such as vomiting and diarrhea. On the contrary, the “stomach flu” is usually associated with Norovirus or other similar virus. See previous article on Norovirus/stomach bug. 

How long is it contagious?

People with flu are contagious beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 10 days after becoming sick.  Most people have returned to work once their fever is gone, around days 3 or 4, but remain contagious for up to a week more!

Flu on the rise in Maryland from Evolve Medical Clinics, the highest rated primary care and urgent care serving Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Stevensville, Arnold, Severna Park, Pasadena, Glen Burnie, Crofton, Bowie, Stevensville, Crownsville, Millersville and Anne Arundel CountyHow is flu spread?

Most cough, cold and flu viruses are thought to be passed from person to person by contact with respiratory droplets.

Contact can occur by direct bodily contact (such as kissing) or touching something with virus on it (such as shaking hands with someone who has the flu) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Best way to prevent the flu–or any contagious illness–is frequent hand

Flu on the rise in Maryland from Evolve Medical Clinics, the highest rated primary care and urgent care serving Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Stevensville, Arnold, Severna Park, Pasadena, Glen Burnie, Crofton, Bowie, Stevensville, Crownsville, Millersville and Anne Arundel County

Hand washing saves lives!

washing!

Call your doctor or go to an urgent care if:

  • You have an extremely high fever (104 F or higher)
  • You are finding it more difficult to get a good breath
  • Wheezing
  • New symptoms localized to the ear, throat, chest or sinuses
  • Symptoms don’t go away or become more severe

Be sure to be seen within 48 hours of the onset of your fever. This is important as treatment is MOST effective if started within 48 hours!

Call 911 if:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe headache or stiff neck associated with confusion or excessive drowsiness

Bottom LineFlu on the rise in Maryland from Evolve Medical Clinics, the highest rated primary care and urgent care serving Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Stevensville, Arnold, Severna Park, Pasadena, Glen Burnie, Crofton, Bowie, Stevensville, Crownsville, Millersville and Anne Arundel County

If you or someone in your family has sudden onset of high fever, whole body aches, chills and feels generally awful, see your provider right away. A rapid Flu Test is available to get an answer in 10 minutes. Remember that the only anti-viral treatment, must be started within 2 days of symptom onset.

For more information, visit the Maryland Department of Health’s Flu Watch page or Anne Arundel Health Department of Health’s Flu Tips page.

If you have been experiencing fever, headache, dry cough or any of the above symptoms,  please see your doctor immediately–remember that flu must be treated in the first 48 hours! Evolve Medical is always happy to see you as well. Same day scheduling on-line here or call 844-322-4222. Or email them at [email protected]

If you find these health and wellness updates helpful, follow Evolve Medical on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+.

Flu on the rise in Maryland from Evolve Medical Clinics, the highest rated primary care and urgent care serving Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Stevensville, Arnold, Severna Park, Pasadena, Glen Burnie, Crofton, Bowie, Stevensville, Kent Island and Waugh Chapel.

Evolve Medical Clinics is the highest rated primary care and urgent care serving Annapolis, Edgewater, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Stevensville, Arnold, Severna Park, Pasadena, Glen Burnie, Crofton, Bowie, Stevensville, Crownsville, Millersville and Anne Arundel County

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About the Author - Evolve Medical Clinics

Evolve Medical Clinics is Annapolis’ highest rated urgent care and primary care. Designed for busy people tired of long waits and rushed providers. The peaceful, healing atmosphere is designed to reflect their emphasis on patient respect, convenience as well as excellence in care. Evolve sees patients for only $95/visit and they provide all you may need for reimbursement. They also offer an amazing and affordable monthly membership for only $49/mo wherein members receive all their primary and urgent care either free or at heavily discounted prices. Members enjoy virtual visits or in-person with wait times usually less than 10 minutes on the same day. Members can also easily email or text their provider to get results or avoid visits when possible. Evolve also helps patients save money by finding less expensive medications, avoiding unnecessary procedures and tests and improves help by cutting down on the medical errors which are so common elsewhere. Find out why everyone loves Evolve: www.emc4me.com or call 844-322-4222.

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