Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 11, 2013

Area flu increase

CUMBERLAND — The Western Maryland Regional Medical Center is experiencing an increase in emergency department visits from people having influenza symptoms, according to spokeswoman Kathy Rogers.

“We currently have 10 patients admitted with flu,” Rogers said Friday.

There are only three locations across the country where the flu is not widespread — California, Mississippi and Washington D.C., according to national health officials.

The Allegany County Health Department has upgraded its website  —www.alleganyhealthdept.com — warning from blue to red to indicate an increased incidence of the illness here.

“It’s important for anyone who hasn’t gotten a flu shot to still get one,” said spokeswoman Brenda Caldwell.

Dr. Sue Raver, county health officer, said it will take up to two weeks for the vaccination to become effective.

“The match of this year’s vaccine is very effective for the predominant type of flu we are experiencing,” Raver said.

On the website is a flu vaccine finder where a person can enter a ZIP code and find out where to get a shot.

A variety of other links that supply information about the flu exist there as well, including one allows residents to report flu symptoms from their part of Maryland.

Raver said schools in the county are experiencing high rates of absences, with more taking place at the high school and middle school levels than for elementary school students.

During the first seven school days following the Christmas break of one year ago, there were 4,531 absences in the county’s schools, according to board of education spokeswoman Mia Cross.

During the first eight schools days this year that followed the holidays, 5,727 students missed classes.

Cross said school officials are not able to determine how many absences from each period are flu-related.

Raver said the flu seems to be contracted this year across a wide range of ages, young children to the elderly.

“Vaccines aren’t perfect, but they help,” Raver said. “People who have been vaccinated, but still get the flu are not as sick.”

The fact that Frostburg State University is not in full session has lessened the impact of flu there.

In fact, Mary Tola, director of the Brady Health Center, reports no confirmed flu cases on campus as of Friday.

Flu vaccine has been available since September at the health center, and some doses remain.

Washing one’s hands frequently and covering coughs and sneezes are the two best ways to prevent spread of flu, according to flufacts.com.

The influenza virus can live for two to eight hours on surfaces.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said flu is widespread across Maryland but there are signs it may be stabilizing.

State Epidemiologist David Blythe said that some indicators are stable or up slightly, while others are decreasing. The department said there were 199 flu-associated hospitalizations in the week ending Jan. 5.

In West Virginia, fewer than 1,400 flu cases have been confirmed, according to public health officials.

State Public Health Commissioner Marian Swinker said those who are sick should stay home.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  •  Easter grass Easter grass

    Kamryn Rice, 7, of Flintstone, finds and bags a plastic egg during Cumberland’s annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday afternoon at Constitution Park. Hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, along with students from Frostburg State University’s Recreation and Parks Management program and the 4-H Youth of Allegany County, the afternoon also included games, relay races, face painting, temporary tattoos, arts and crafts, and a petting zoo sponsored by the 4-H Hare Raiser Club, as well as a visit from the Easter Bunny. The eggs contained candy and other treats.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Business community wary of minimum wage increases

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County businesses are certain to be impacted by the increase in Maryland’s minimum wage, set to reach $10.10 an hour by July 2018 under a law championed by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    April 20, 2014

  • Tipped workers left behind in pay hike action

    ANNAPOLIS — Many minimum wage workers will be getting a raise now that a hike to Maryland’s wage has been signed into law. But while advocates are ascribing the increase as a win, there’s a bitter aftertaste for one group that was left behind.

    April 20, 2014

  • Views vary among Americans when it comes to hourly rate

    CUMBERLAND — Even among those who have worked minimum wage jobs, views on the minimum wage can differ.
    “Minimum wage has to exist. There is no question there, so whatever it is, it will be called ‘minimum wage’. But it should not be below a living wage,” said Bonita Quick of Cumberland.

    April 20, 2014

  • Income guideline change will increase WIC recipients

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Raised income eligibility guidelines for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children will increase the number of those served in West Virginia by about 10 percent, according to the state health officer.

    April 20, 2014

  • Absentee ballots moving online causes security concerns

    ANNAPOLIS — Voters may get to skip the lines at the polls this summer by receiving and marking their ballots online, but election officials must first decide if the convenience outweighs the security risks.

    April 20, 2014

  • Allegany County emergency medical services honorees and supporters Allegany, Garrett emergency responders honored

    MCHENRY — The 75 people from Allegany and Garrett counties who were involved with two exceptional emergency medical services calls in 2013 were presented with awards at the recent Night for Stars program held at the Wisp Resort.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lexis Trickett meets with Gov. Martin O’Malley Ninth-grader among 30 at inaugural event

    OAKLAND — Lexis Trickett, a ninth-grade student at Southern Garrett High School, was among 30 girls who attended Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Leadership Forum for Women and Girls recently in Annapolis in celebration of Women’s History Month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • School immunization requirements change

    CUMBERLAND — Changes to school immunization requirements by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene affect students entering kindergarten and seventh grade for the next school year.

    April 20, 2014

  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
News related video
Raw: Obamas Attend Easter Service Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups