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Maryland sees a late surge in flu cases

As spring and the end of the flu season approach, state health officials say they are seeing a surge in cases of the virus. The increase began in late February and continues, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Officials say the type of flu recorded is covered by this year's vaccine and it's not too late to get a flu shot, which are commonly available in doctors' offices, drug stores and other retail outlets. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone older than six months old get vaccinated.

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State health officials also recommend frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and coughing and sneezing into a tissue or an elbow to prevent spread and contraction of the contagious respiratory disease.

Most people are not testing for the flu and recover at home in about a week. About 3.7 percent of people who saw a doctor in late February had flu symptoms and 2.5 percent of those seen in the emergency room had symptoms, far exceeding numbers seen during much of the season, according to medical providers who report data to the state.

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