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Flu cases are on the rise in Maine

There have been 32 outbreaks investigated this flu season.
There have been 32 outbreaks investigated this flu season.(MGN)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 7:02 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - The Maine Center for Disease Control says that influenza activity is on the rise in Maine, though the severity estimate remains low for the entire state.

The state reports there were 716 lab confirmed cases of the flu in Maine last week, the most in a single week since March 2020.

There were also 17 people hospitalized with the flu. Penobscot County had, by far, the most number of cases while York County had the most hospitalizations.

The positivity rate for influenza testing last week was 21.7%, also the highest since March 2020.

Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the Maine CDC, says last week had the highest number of tests performed this season, 1,210, suggesting the high positivity rate is not from a lack of testing.

Public health officials in Maine investigated nine flu-like illness outbreaks last week, the most since February 2020.

There have been 32 outbreaks investigated this flu season.

The U.S. CDC says it appears the current flu vaccine is only 16% effective at preventing illness.

Shah calls that “not great at all” but says research does suggest the vaccine is still far more effective at preventing serious outcomes, even if the shot does not keep you from getting sick at all.

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