Flu is hitting Maryland earlier and harder

January 17, 2015 4:09 PM

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The flu season is off to an earlier and stronger start, sending 2,300 people to the hospital with influenza-like symptoms in Maryland, accounting for about 4.9 percent of all emergency department visits, according to state data collected from some participating medical providers.

Nationally, about 4.4 percent of emergency visits are for flu symptoms — such as aches, fever and coughing — and 45 children have died, elevating the season to epidemic levels, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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