Tuesday, January 29, 2013
So far, the cases reported are typical of the winter season, officials say.
Norovirus has made its way to Montgomery County this year, though officials say the cases they’re seeing are fairly typical for this time in the season. The contagious bug is marked by inflammation in the stomach or intestines that can lead stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, according to the CDC. Each year, it causes about 21 million illnesses and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths, the CDC reports. Norovirus has been in the news this season after a new strain of the bug was detected in Australia. The strain is now the leading cause of outbreaks in the U.S., according to the CDC, though it’s too early to tell whether it will cause more illnesses than in past years. The disease has been associated with …
Sunday, January 27, 2013
The brunt of the flu virus may have passed, but other strains of the virus are keeping the number of flu-like illnesses high in Maryland.
The flu strain that has been making many sick in Maryland and around the country may be peaking, but that doesn't mean it's time to cease precautions and skip the flu shot. Other strains could circulate, keeping the flu around for months. Overall, the intensity of flu-like illnesses in Maryland remains high, according to the latest Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene report for the week ending Jan. 19. The influenza virus was geographically widespread according to the last report, meaning there is flu activity throughout different regions, said David Blythe, a medical epidemiologist with the state. While the virus is difficult to predict, he said there is a possibility the flu has peaked and is headed toward a decline. Even …
Friday, January 18, 2013
Yes, but some stores struggle to keep the vaccine in stock.
Even though flu numbers may be dropping in Maryland, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that as of Jan. 5 (the most recent data available), 48 states, including Maryland and Virginia, continued to see "widespread" influenza activity, with California, Mississippi and Washington, DC, showing only "local" activity. The CDC's website recommends that "[the] single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year." However, it may be challenging to find a flu shot in your area. In Montgomery County, at least one CVS in Wheaton is finding it difficult to keep the vaccine in stock. "We do have the flu vaccine if you come in today," pharmacy technician Luis Velasco said this week. "Last Thursday, we ran out…
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Doctors still are urging residents to get a flu shot.
The number of flu cases in Maryland have dropped over the last week, but health officials still are pushing residents to get the flu vaccine, according to a report in The Gazette. For the week ending Dec. 29, 10.1 percent of people visiting doctors were there for the flu. For the week ending Jan. 5, only 3.5 percent of people visiting doctors were there for the flu, according to a report from the state. Maryland’s flu season might have peaked, but the number of cases remains widespread statewide, and health officials still are urging people to be vaccinated, a state epidemiologist said Monday. The numbers still are higher than the past two flu seasons, according to The Gazette report.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Patients with flu-like symptoms are crowding emergency rooms as officials gear up for what could be a bad flu season.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Chemicals in the fat tissue of fish can affect the immune system of humans who eat it and can even cause birth defects.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
By Maria-Pia Negro, Capital News Service Sharing your food is supposed to be good thing. But when it comes to fish from the polluted Anacostia River, researchers want anglers to stop sharing their contaminated catch. Half of Anacostia fishermen share their fish with others along the watershed, according to a new survey released by local environmental groups. Most of the anglers—who are disproportionately African American, Asian and Hispanic—share the fish with underemployed neighbors or are begged for fish that they would otherwise throw back. “This causes a community of 1,000 to 2,000 anglers to extend the consumption of the Anacostia protein to 15,000 or 17,000 people,” said Mike Bolinder of Anacostia Riverkeeper, one of the groups …
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Google Flu Trends "uses aggregated Google search data to estimate current flu activity around the world in near real-time," its website stated.
Flu cases appear to be on the rise, according to Google Flu Trends, which "uses aggregated Google search data to estimate current flu activity around the world in near real-time," Google Flu Trends' website stated. Google Flu Trends' data indicates that the number of flu cases in Maryland is already between the "high" and "intense" categories, whereas at this time last year, the number of flu cases was only between the "low" and "moderate" categories. Best places to escape the flu, according to Google Flu Trends: South America, South Africa and Australia. (Perhaps flu viruses don't like long flights?) Or, better yet, consider getting a flu shot. Find a flu shot location near you with this Flu Vaccine Finder (available through the American …
Sunday, December 9, 2012
The frozen dinners are thought to have been sold in Silver Spring, Rockville, Bethesda and Gaithersburg, among other locations along the East Coast.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is assisting Canada's food inspection agency with the recall of nearly 5,000 pounds of possibly tainted chicken sold in frozen chicken and rice dinners at Trader Joe's groceries. The affected products, which were imported from Canada, were pulled from shelves. No actual cases of illness have been reported. The recalled product: 12.5 oz boxes of Trader Joe's Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice with product code 2012-10-31 and lot code 30512. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said the dinners may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria that causes listeriosis, an infection that produces flu-like symptoms. Older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are most…
Thursday, September 20, 2012
An antibiotic-resistant superbug, which spread through the hospital last year, has killed a boy whose case was the first reported there since January.
A “superbug” infection killed a boy on Sept. 7 at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda. He was the seventh victim of the bacterial strain, The Washington Post reported. The victim, a seriously ill boy from Minnesota, died of a bloodstream infection, according to the report. The boy’s case marks the first new infection at the clinical center since January, The Post reported. An antibiotic-resistant strain of the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae was first detected in a patient at the clinical center in August 2011 and spread to 17 additional patients, 11 of whom died. Staff there attributed six of the deaths directly to the superbug, The Post reported. Klebsiella infections can pose a threat to seriously ill, hospitalized patients with …
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The number of West Nile virus cases reported is higher this year than ever before, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
This year, the United States has seen the largest outbreak of West Nile virus infections since the disease first appeared here in 1999, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). As of Aug. 21, the CDC had reported a total of 1,118 cases in people and 41 deaths resulting from the disease this year. Forty-seven states reported the virus in people, mosquitoes or birds. Patch has reported that the virus was detected in Montgomery County in a mosquito pool. David Clark, community relations coordinator for Patient First, a series of community health centers in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, recommends using DEET or SumiOne repellent (a new chemical applied to paper to protect an area), wearing long pants or …