Influenza cases surged last week in Maine, and the flu is now widespread throughout the state.

Maine had 1,287 positive flu tests through Jan. 4, the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Wednesday. That includes 368 new cases from Dec. 28 to Jan. 4, a 40 percent increase in one week. So far this flu season, 90 people have been hospitalized, and there have been six flu-related deaths.

“Influenza is unpredictable and, in some cases, deadly,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, 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.”

Aside from vaccination, flu patients should remain home when they are sick and frequently wash hands and cover the mouth when coughing.

The actual number of flu cases is much higher than the reported amount because many recover at home and are not tested. The U.S. CDC is estimating that 6.4 million Americans have contracted the flu this season. Flu season runs from October to May. There were 10,313 Mainers who tested positive for influenza in the 2018-19 flu season.

For more information, visit

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.