Flu season lingers in DC area

WASHINGTON — The flu season appears to be winding down in Maryland and Virginia; but in D.C., there was a rise in the number of reported cases last week.

Even if it may seem late in the season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you get vaccinated as long as the flu continues to circulate.

D.C.’s flu season peaked in late January with 339 cases reported in one week. Then, it fell to a low of 73 weekly cases in early March. But last week, 103 new cases were reported.

In Maryland and Virginia, the CDC classifies flu as “widespread.” The number of new cases week to week has been steadily declining.

In Maryland, the intensity level of the flu gradually dropped from “high” in the week ending Feb. 24, to moderate, low and then minimal for the week ending March 17.

Similar declines have been observed in Virginia.

“Flu activity level is still elevated right now (compared to the ‘off’ season), but it does look like we’re past the worst of the season,” Virginia Department of Health Influenza Surveillance coordinator Em Stephens said. “We’re hoping it continues to decline as it is, and we end up in the summer (off) season soon.”

To prevent spreading or catching any ailment including the flu, recommendations include covering coughs, washing hands frequently and staying home if you’re sick.

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