Maryland among 2 states where flu is widespread

Flu activity has been picking up in Maryland.

According to the latest numbers from health officials in the state, there have been 230 positive flu cases so far this season, and one adult has died.

Nationwide, Maryland is among only two states were flu activity is geographically widespread. Louisiana is the other state on that list.

“Nationally, flu activity is low and similar to what has been observed during recent previous seasons at the same time,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which monitors the numbers weekly.

“Seasonal influenza activity in the United States remains low but is increasing,” the agency said. “It’s too early to characterize the timing of the season, what viruses will predominate, or how severe the season will be.”

In Virginia, flu activity has been geographically sporadic and there have been 29 confirmed flu cases, according to health officials in that state.

Health officials in D.C. have reported 24 confirmed cases in the District, and cases there are also geographically sporadic.

Influenza season runs roughly from October through April each year.

People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that it typically spreads through droplets made when people cough, sneeze or talk.

Those who have the flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after the illness begins.

Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches and fatigue.

“Flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications,” the CDC said. “Most flu vaccines protect against four different flu viruses.”

People at high risk of complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

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