Maryland is dealing with a high level of respiratory illness activity. According to the state health department, the proportion of outpatient hospital visits for respiratory illness was four-point-eight percent for the week ending December 17th. That is above the Maryland baseline of two-point-one percent. Health officials say 209 flu-related hospitalizations were reported for the week and, so far this season, 21 flu-related deaths have been reported. However, no flu-related pediatric deaths have been reported.