The first laboratory case of influenza was confirmed this week by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to a press release from the Maine CDC, an adult from Sagadahoc County tested positive for influenza B at a national reference laboratory. The patient was not immunized and had recently traveled to the southern part of the United States. Influenza A (2009 H1N1 pandemic strain), influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B are circulating nationally.

“Now that influenza is reported in Maine, it is important for us to try to limit its spread, since even in a mild year influenza is a major cause of severe illness,” said Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, director of the Maine CDC.

“The best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated. The U.S. CDC recommends all individuals older than 6 months be immunized, even if they got a seasonal or 2009 H1N1 vaccine last season. All high-risk individuals should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Besides getting vaccinated, it is important to also remember the other basics guidelines of preventing illness, including: washing hands; covering coughs with sleeves or tissue; and staying home when sick.”

For up-to-date information on influenza, visit maineflu.gov.