Sun coverage: Flu season in Md.

Flu cases on rise

Dr. David del Rosario is seeing an increase of flu cases at the Patient First clinic in Glen Burnie. Dr. del Rosario takes a throat culture swab from patient Melissa Cyr, 16, of Columbia. (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam / February 15, 2009)

More coverage of the virus and vaccination efforts

April 2, 2009

Flu appears to be ebbing in Maryland

The 2008-2009 influenza season is not quite over, but Maryland health officials say it appears to have peaked and the number of new cases is on the wane.

March 3, 2009

Common flu strain resists popular drug Tamiflu

The flu strain most likely to make you sick this winter has developed a near-total resistance to one of the most popular drugs prescribed to blunt its symptoms.

February 26, 2009

Flu kills Howard teen

A Howard County teenager died of the flu this week, the latest of nine pediatric flu deaths nationally this year, county health officials said yesterday. "This tragic death is highly unusual," the county health officer, Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, said in a news release. Federal patient privacy laws prohibit the county from releasing the victim's identity or any details of the case, Health Department spokeswoman Lisa de Hernandez said. The teenager became ill with "flu symptoms that got progressively worse," she said, and died sometime since Sunday in a hospital that she declined to identify. Officials at Johns Hopkins Children's Center confirmed that Zachary D. Weiland, 15, of Mount Airy died there Sunday, but they would give no further information, including his illness.

February 25, 2009

Outbreak of flu-like illness closes school

Immaculate Conception School in Towson will be closed for the rest of this week because dozens of students and some staff have been out with flu-like symptoms, an official with the Archdiocese of Baltimore said yesterday. The elementary school will be cleaned during that time "to make it as germ-free as possible," said Sean Caine, director of communications for the archdiocese.

February 20, 2009

Baltimore health officials declare influenza alert

With the number of positive influenza tests rising sharply in the city, Baltimore health officials declared a flu alert yesterday. "We're really seeing sustained transmission of flu in Baltimore. Now is the time to protect yourself," said the city's health commissioner, Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein. Sentinel hospitals reported that 12 percent of flu tests last week came back positive, more than twice the rate for the previous week. There have been no deaths, but the Johns Hopkins Children's Center is treating a teenager who is critically ill with flu. "This is not just the sniffles. It can be very serious," Sharfstein said. Residents are urged to get flu shots, to wash their hands frequently, cough into a tissue or sleeve and stay home if they're sick. For more: www.baltimorehealth.org/flu

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