Flu Cases Still on the Rise in Maine


I rarely get sick. Do not forget to get adequate sleep, as a exhausted body can not effectively fight the flu virus.

"We do know that the influenza vaccine, even if you get the flu, can prevent you from getting hospitalized or even more serious complications".

The flu sweeping the country now may also not be the only one this winter. Kids under 5 and seniors over 65 are the most susceptible.

In fact, people infected with the flu can spread it to others up to 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.

-Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth without washing your hands first.

Wipe down common surfaces - By disinfecting common surfaces like those mentioned above, possible transmission of the flu virus is reduced.

Submitted photo RN Linda Smith gives a flu vaccine during St. Joseph's Hospital's drive by flu shot event. "Vaccines are still available at doctors' offices and pharmacies".

The flu shot is the best protection against the flu, says Dr. Reyes.

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In 1918, there was no flu vaccine.

She noted the flu vaccine is key for patients who want to mitigate the severity of symptoms.

"Typically we swab our patients and do a point-of-care testing, and we run a rapid flu screen, and it'll tell us positive or negative", explained Cohen.

During the first week of the new year, the most recent data available, almost 44 percent of flu tests were coming back positive.

Anne Ernst, school nurse at Malibu High School, wrote in an email to The Malibu Times, "Many, many students and staff have flu symptoms and often they are sick for one to two weeks". They constantly mutate, and those frequent changes make it hard for our bodies to recognize and fend off the virus. Many people feel better after they have taken pain relievers and fever reducers, but they are still contagious, and can easily pass on the virus to others. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that, in select situations, antiviral medications - which are usually prescribed to treat the flu and lessen symptoms - can reduce the chance of illness in people exposed to influenza. And so far this year, hospitalization rates are up but remain lower than the rates during the severe 2014-15 season.

In the first week of January, there were 1,750 flu-associated hospitalizations in OH, more than triple the five-year average for the same time period. Five of the eight individuals had an underlying health condition. "In reality, when we look in a couple of weeks and we look back, it may be a typical flu season like we have every year", said Dr. Fry.

What can I do to avoid getting the flu?

Make sure small chlldren are vaccinated and their parents as well.