Dr. George Lowe, medical director at Lutherville Personal Physicians, says his hospital has seen a 25 percent increase in the number visits due to influenza compared to flu seasons past.
The Baltimore area is currently plagued by an influenza epidemic, spurred by what Lowe called “a perfect storm.”
“We also have traditional colds and we also have a viral [Gastroenteritis] bug that’s going around at the same time. … On top of that we do have what’s been declared as an influenza epidemic,” Lowe, a Lutherville resident, said. “All three of those together have jacked up our visit numbers.”
The elderly, the young, pregnant women and anyone with some form of immunological deficiency are most at risk to develop complications due to influenza.
“[But] It’s not too late,” Lowe said. “Vaccine is the first, second, third, fourth and fifth best way to prevent catching the flu.
“Sixth is to avoid crowds and people who are actively sick. Lots of hand washing particularly when you’re out because you can pick things up from other people,” he continued.
His advice may seem like practical common sense, although, “some people have been lulled into complacency by the fact that our flu season has not been severe and they’ve kind of forgotten what a flu epidemic is all about,” Lowe said.
Read through some of the links below to find out more information on how to get free flu vaccinations, and more information about this ongoing epidemic.
- WHAT'S GOING AROUND: STILL TIME FOR A FLU SHOT
- Is it a Cold or the Flu?
- Kaiser Permanente Doctor to Take Flu Questions on Twitter
- Baltimore County Offers a Jump on Flu Season
- State Health Officials Confirm First Seasonal Flu Cases