First flu death in state

  • Published in Local

swine fluA Maryland child became the 54th pediatric fatality of the 2018 flu season as the number of flu-related hospitalizations in both the state and county continue to increase significantly, the Maryland Department of Health announced Tuesday.

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene statistics show this year’s flu season – which typically runs from October to March – has seen 6.8 percent of visits to “sentinel providers” come from influenza-like illnesses, which is well above the 2 percent average usually seen during the week of Jan. 24 in a typical year.

“This year we know there has been a higher-than-average h3n2 cases which is a more severe strain of the influenza virus,” said Dr. Travis Gayles, the County’s Health Officer and Chief of Public Health.

Gayles said children and the elderly have been hit hardest by the more severe h3n2 strain of the influenza virus. County health officials’ response to this year’s more hard-hitting strains has included working with hospitals to monitor local cases and renewing a public relations campaign to remind people of the importance of hand washing and encourage them to be mindful of symptoms.


NIH prioritizes youth suicide prevention

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BETHESDA – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) prioritized youth suicide prevention as part of its research agenda for the next decade.

A panel within NIH's Pathways to Prevention Program, which released a report detailing 29 recommendations to improve and facilitate research on youth suicide and prevention, formed an agenda that included the prevention push.

“If lives matter of any variety, then funding needs to be provided,” said panel leader Todd Little, a professor of educational psychology at Texas Tech University.


State sprays Montgomery County for mosquitoes again

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aedes-egypti-zika-virus-mosquito1FILE PHOTO  

Officials from the Maryland Department of Agriculture sprayed mosquitoes for the second time in 10 days in Montgomery County, this time in the Strawberry Knoll area of Gaithersburg.

The purpose for spraying is to alleviate concern over mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus.

“This is part of the state mosquito prevention plan...they have couple of triggers that are met this to the put the spray plan into effect,” said Mary Anderson, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.


Killing the blood suckers

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Health officials in the county spray for mosquitoes in three locations - including Gaithersburg


State officials sprayed areas of Kensington, Sandy Spring and Gaithersburg Monday because of concerns over Zika, West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Maryland Department of Agriculture spokesperson Julie Oberg said state officials from mosquito control decided to spray parts of the County after detecting mosquito-borne disease in either a captured mosquito or a person.

Oberg said she would not disclose what specifically promoted the spray in the County other than it was a “public health concern.”

According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene there are no cases of locally acquired Zika in Maryland.

“Every time we respond that way, it's either because of a mosquito detection or a human case of a mosquito-borne diseases,” Oberg said.

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