January 29, 2013

Flu reports level off in central Maine


Reports of new influenza cases were relatively unchanged during the last week in central Maine, according to a report published Tuesday by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Throughout the state, 12 new cases were reported during that period, bringing the season's total to 144.

The numbers don't reflect the true scope of the influenza epidemic, which began in December. The data come from institutions that are required to report individual cases, such as schools and long-term care facilities; however, the vast majority of health care providers are not subject to the requirement, according to Maine CDC.

In central Maine, reports of new influenza cases have dwindled. As of Saturday, one new case was reported in Franklin County, bringing the total this season from two to three. In Kennebec County, the number rose from 11 to 13. Cases in Somerset County were unchanged at 10.

Earlier this week, State Epidemiologist Stephen Sears said the flu virus is still widespread in Maine, but there are signs that the epidemic has hit its peak.


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