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The Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention is reporting 144 outbreaks of influenza, as of January 29. This includes twelve new outbreaks in the previous week. As of the week ending Jan. 19, Maine's activity level for Influenza-Like Illness was in the "Minimal" Range, with neigboring states categorized as low to moderate. Vaccine is the best way to prevent disease, but early treatment with antiviral drugs can help reduce the severity of illness.

As a precaution against the spread of the flu to weak and vulnerable patients, until further notice St. Joseph Hospital is requesting that anyone with flu-like symptoms refrain from visiting the hospital unless they are actually being admitted for or seeking medical treatment.

NEW: Don't Mistake Carbon Monoxide Poisoning for the Flu.
Symptoms are similar. More advice on this HERE.

Signs of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose,

muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue

What if I have the Flu?

If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home, drink fluids and control your fever. Maine CDC recommends staying home until 24 hours after fever resolves without the use of medications. For those with a comprised immune system or other severe medical conditions, seek medical attention through an emergency department or your primary care provider. You should also seek medical attention for young children with severe respiratory symptoms, high fever or dehydration.

How to prevent the spread of the flu

In addition to immunization, it is important for everyone to practice proper hygiene to prevent the spread of the flu. This includes frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding close contact with those who are sick with the flu, and staying at home if you have flu-like symptoms.

When should I see a provider?

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. However, people at high risk of developing complications should contact their provider, reports Maine CDC. Individuals with these warning signs should definitely seek health care:

  • Dehydration
  • Trouble breathing
  • Getting better, then suddenly getting a lot worse
  • Any major change in condition

For ongoing updates about the flu in our area, call the St. Joseph Hospital Community Hotline at 907-3441. Updated information will also be posted here.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

Maine CDC

Posted 1/31/2013, 11:00 a.m.

 

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