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2013 Flu Now Considered An Epidemic

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s hitting harder than anyone expected. This year’s flu is now considered an epidemic and Maryland is among the states impacted. Tim Williams has more on health officials’ efforts to stay one step ahead.

For 12-year-old Jordan Johnson, braving the slight pain and discomfort of getting her flu shot amounts to a plain and simple reason.

“So I don’t get the flu and get sick,” Johnson said.

Hers is a logic doctors wish more people would adopt.

This year’s flu has reached epidemic levels. Maryland is among the states infected.

“We’re seeing widespread influenza activity in Maryland right now. Actually, we have been for the past three-plus weeks in Maryland so we’ve got flu everywhere,” said David Blythe, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

At the Harford Mall, healthcare workers with the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center are doing their part to reverse the trend. This is one of several traveling flu shot clinics—for this group and others—underway this season.

“This is an add-on to what we usually do in the fall so that we can catch a lot of folks that are now thinking twice about having it,” said clinician Nancy Amrein.

Folks like Pat and Dan Humphries. They’ve been putting it off for weeks.

“We were going to get it at one of the drug stores and just happened to see it and get it right now. She’s scared to death of shots so now’s the time,” Dan Humphries said.

And with supplies starting to run low, time may be running out.

“We were told all the surrounding pharmacies and stores were sold out so we lucked out when we heard they were giving them here at the mall,” said Jared and Marie Talley.

For more information on this year’s flu and treatment, click here.

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