Flu cases on the upswing

By Stephen Betts and Carolyn Zachary | Feb 10, 2020

The number of flu cases in Waldo County rose again in the last week of January after a brief respite.

There were 15 cases for the week that ended Feb. 1. This brings the total cases of flu since Oct. 1 to 92 in Waldo County, with a total of six patients hospitalized.

Knox County also had 15 new cases that week.

The previous week, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 10 new cases in Waldo county, for a total of 75 since Oct. 1. Both weeks were up from the week that ended Jan. 18 with zero new cases reported.

There have been no new flu-related hospitalizations in Waldo County since the week that ended Jan. 25.

Statewide, there were 866 new cases of flu in the week that ended Feb. 1. York County reported 277 cases, the most of any county in Maine. Cumberland reported 141 new cases and Penobscot 106.

The state recommends an influenza vaccination each year for anyone 6 months of age and older.

Vaccination can reduce a person's risk of contracting the illness, as well as subsequent doctors' visits, and missed work and school.

The influenza vaccine can also reduce the severity of the illness, should a vaccinated person contract influenza.

Studies show the influenza vaccine saves children's lives, prevents serious events associated with chronic lung disease, diabetes, and heart disease, and prevents influenza-related hospitalization among working-age and older adults.

The CDC also continues to recommend people wash their hands frequently, cover their coughs, and stay home if they are sick as ways to prevent the spread of the flu.

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