Here are some things to know about the once-a-year rite of flu vaccination. (Baltimore Sun video)
State health officials on Tuesday confirmed this season’s first flu-related child death.
The Maryland Department of Health released no further details about the death.
The flu season has been a particularly bad one and is shaping up to have a record number of hospitalizations nationally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said hospitalizations related to the flu could exceed 700,000.
As of Jan. 27, 53 kids have died across the country from the flu so far this season, according to the CDC.
In Maryland, emergency rooms had 20,127 visits for flu-like symptoms and a voluntary reporting system among 25 doctors’ offices in the state show they had 2,606 visits.
More than 3,000 people visited Maryland emergency rooms in the past week with influenza-like illnesses amid what state and federal health officials are calling the worst flu season in years. The flu is so bad that many local hospitals are asking most sick people to avoid the emergency room.
Current flu activity in the state is considered high and widespread, according to the state’s health department.
“Influenza is an extremely serious, and sometimes deadly, disease, and this flu season has been proven to be particularly severe,” Dr. Howard Haft, deputy secretary for Public Health Services, said in a statement. “We’re continuing to urge Marylanders to get their flu shots, stay home from work if they are sick, and practice other preventative measures to stop the spread of flu.”