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Published On: Tue, Jan 8th, 2013

Maine CDC: ‘Influenza is widespread with all three strains circulating’

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

Influenza (flu) activity has increased across most parts of the United States, and Maine is no exception. Influenza activity is significantly higher than the 2011-2012 season with the Maine CDC following up on 65 outbreaks as of Tuesday January 8th, according to a Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza Advisory today.

Health officials report that all three strains of influenza is circulating, influenza B, influenza A H1N1, and influenza A H3N2, which is the predominant strain in Maine and nationwide.

Health care facilities are reporting a surge in patients seeking care for the flu and hospitalizations are being reported from many facilities.

One fatality has been reported in a pediatric patient last month.

To help prevent catching the flu this season, Maine health officials following the “No Flu 4 You” guidelines:

  • Wash your hands: Both the general public and healthcare providers should remember to wash their hands frequently to prevent transmission of influenza
  • Cover your cough:  Use tissues, or cough into your sleeve
  • Stay home when you are sick:  Symptomatic individuals should remain home while sick.  Maine CDC recommends staying home until 24 hours after fever resolves without the use of medications.
  • Get Vaccinated:  Maine CDC recommends vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older, especially for those people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza.   Influenza vaccine is provided at no-cost by the state of Maine for children under the age of 19 years.  Vaccine is still available through school sponsored vaccine clinics, healthcare providers, and many local pharmacies and offers protection in 14 days.  For questions about vaccination please contact the Maine Immunization Program at 800-867-4775 or through [email protected].
  • Treatment
  • Tamiflu and Relenza are both approved antivirals for influenza.
    • Antiviral treatment is recommended as early as possible for any patient with confirmed or suspected influenza who:
      • Is hospitalized
      • Has severe, complicated, or progressive illness
      • Is at higher risk for influenza complication
    • Treatment may be considered for any individuals with confirmed or suspected influenza
    • Antiviral treatment is recommended for 5 days
  • Prophylaxis may be recommended for:
  • Contacts of a patient with laboratory confirmed influenza who are at high risk of developing complications
    • Prophylaxis  is recommended for 10 days
    • Residents of a nursing home or other congregate setting where there is a laboratory confirmed case of influenza or an increase in influenza-like illness among residents

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show on http://1380thebiz.com/ Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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