BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The flu season remains very active in Maryland, with the latest numbers from the state health department showing an uptick in the number of confirmed cases of influenza.
Nearly 4,300 people tested positive for the flu in the health department’s most recent report. Nearly 300 people were hospitalized and four more have died.
“This year, we’ve seen about a 15 to 20 percent uptick in volume over the past couple months compared to where we typically are,” said Neil Roy, the emergency room medical director with Sinai Hospital.
So far this flu season, the state health department reports around 29,000 people have tested positive for the flu. Twenty-nine have died.
“I think we don’t appreciate how dangerous the flu can be,” Roy said. The flu tends to kill upwards of 50,000 to 80,000 patients nationwide every year.”
Fourth-grade teacher Nicole Brule said she’s seen a fair share of cases in her classroom.
“Out of 29 kids, 11 kids were out due to illness,” she said.
Johns Hopkins University student Patrick Zhang said he’s seen a lot of his classmates get sick also.
“I feel like most of the class most of the people in my class got sick,” he said.
Experts said the best way to avoid getting sick is to be careful about what you touch.
“The biggest thing is washing your hands and try(ing) not to touch your face,” Roy said.
If you haven’t gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late. Even if you end up catching the flu, the vaccine will make it less severe, Roy said.