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Flu

Update: Flu is now widespread but low intensity in Maryland, and and flu activity continues to decrease in many areas of the United States.

A 2nd-dose flu vaccination clinic will be held on Wednesday, April 4th, from 4-6 pm at the Health Department. This clinic is for children 6 months through 8 years of age who received flu vaccine for the very first time in their lifetime during the current flu season. They need a second dose of flu vaccine for optimal protection. 

The child’s first dose of flu vaccine must have been given prior to 3/08/2018 in order to receive a second dose during this clinic. However, any child (6 mos through 18 years of age) who did not receive the flu vaccine this season and would still like to get one can also come to this clinic. The vaccination is free for all children, regardless of insurance.

For more information, please contact Maria Carr, RN, BSN @ 410-876-4942 or 410-876-4920

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Right now, flu is widespread and occuring at high levels across the United States, including Maryland. The H3N2 virus is causing a lot of flu cases this year, and this strain of flu is associated with more severe illness.

Check the Maryland Department of Health’s FluWatch page for the latest flu data in Maryland.

Check the CDC’s FluView page for flu data from across the United States.

To prevent the flu:

Get your flu shot. It’s not too late! Everyone 6 months and over should get the flu shot every year.

Due to high levels of flu illness in Maryland, the Health Department will be holding several free flu vaccine clinics for children 6 months through 18 years of age, as well as offering flu shots for adults.

Walk-in clinics for children:

  • Friday, February 2nd                 1:00-3:00 PM
  • Monday, February 5th              1:00-3:00 PM 
  • Wednesday, February 7th         4:00-7:00 PM 
  • Friday, February 9th                1:00-3:00 PM 
  • Monday, February 12th            1:00-3:00 PM 
  • Wednesday, February 14th      4:00-7:00 PM 
  • Friday, February 16th              1:00-3:00 PM 

All clinics will be held at the Health Department, 290 South Center Street, Westminster, MD. No appointment is needed.

Adults may also get a flu shot at the Health Department during business hours. The cost will be based on a sliding scale. No one will be turned away.

Click here for our 2017-18 Flu Vaccine Resource Sheet to find out where you can get a flu shot in the Carroll County area.

The flu shot does not cause the flu. Flu vaccines are made from an inactivated virus that can’t make you sick.  

Flu vaccine effectiveness (VE) can change from year to year. How well the vaccine works depends in part on the match between the vaccine and the active viruses that season. 

Last month, there were reports that the flu shot was only 10% effective against H3N2 in Australia. Early data suggests the flu shot should be more effective against the H3N2 strains circulating now in the US. The shot may also be more effective against some other types of flu virus, such as the Influenza B virus that often circulates in the spring. A flu shot provides some protection even when it is not a close match to current viruses.

 

Prevent the spread of germs. 

Wash your hands often with soap and water. Try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, because germs spread easily that way.

Clean and disinfect things that may be contaminated with germs, like doorknobs and cell phones.

Avoid people who are sick. If you are caring for someone who is sick, take extra steps to prevent germs from spreading. Keep their bedclothes, dishes, cups, and eating utensils separate. Wash your hands after caring for them or cleaning any of their items. 

Click here to learn more about how to stop the spread of flu germs and how to care for someone with the flu

Spread the word – share this Late Season Flu Flyer

If you get the flu:

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever (not everyone with flu gets a fever)
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

Limit contact with others as much as possible. Remember to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Get rest and drink plenty of fluids. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the use of medication to reduce fever).

What parents need to know about the flu 2017-18 season

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care. But if you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider. They may prescribe antiviral drugs.

Antivirals

Antivirals are different from antibiotics. They can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. Antivirals work best when they are started within two days of getting sick. Not everyone with the flu needs antivirals, so talk to your health care provider.

If you have the flu and experience any of these symptoms, you should go to the emergency room:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

For more information and symptoms in infants and children, visit The Flu: What to Do if You Get Sick

Pneumococcal pneumonia is an example of a serious flu-related complication that can cause death. People who are 65 years of age and older should also be up to date with pneumococcal vaccination to protect against pneumonia and related infections. Talk to your doctor to find out which pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for you.

 

 

Community Flu Vaccination Planning Committee

The organizations listed below are working together to provide consistent flu-related messaging and access to flu vaccinations, to increase vaccination rates and protect our community from the flu.

    

Updated 1/19/2018