More than twice the number of Mainers have come down with the flu compared with the same time last year, and double the number of people have died from it so far, according to state data.
Almost 1,300 people across Maine have tested positive for the flu this season, which started in October 2019. At the same time last year, 510 people had tested positive.
Six people have died from the flu so far this season, compared with three at this time last year. Hospitalizations are also up: 90 people have been hospitalized so far this flu season, compared with 53 at this time last year, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nationally, about 6.4 million people have been infected this season, according to the Maine CDC.
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This year, with 16 counties reporting flu infections, the disease has been classified as widespread based on federal CDC standards.
The county with the largest year-over-year spike in flu cases is York County, where 343 people have tested positive for influenza this season, compared with 84 at this time last year.
“Influenza is unpredictable and, in some cases, deadly,” Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said in a statement. “The most effective way to prevent the spread of influenza is to get vaccinated, and it’s not too late to get a flu shot.”