Influenza Still A Problem As Spring Arrives In Maine

Mar 20, 2019

Maine's chief epidemiologist Siiri Bennett wants Mainers to know, “We are not done with flu yet.”

In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta.
Credit David Goldman / AP Photo

In fact, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says five people died last week from the flu in Maine, bringing the total to 29 this season.

The ones who really get complications from the flu are those 65 and older,” says Bennett. “Flu is a problem, particularly among people who are immunocompromised, who have underlying medical conditions, who are susceptible to developing complications.”

Bennett strongly advises Mainers to get vaccinated for the flu, which she says will likely stay around well into May.

“As long as there is flu circulating, you are at risk of getting the influenza,” she says. “And as you can tell from the numbers, people do die from influenza, people are at risk for complications. As long as there is influenza going around, get vaccinated.”

She also advises that people wash hands, cover coughs and stay home when they're sick.

Last year, there were more than 9,000 confirmed cases and 82 deaths from the flu in Maine.