Flu now widespread in Maine

6:54 PM, Jan 10, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Yesterday officials in Boston declared a public health emergency because of widespread outbreaks of the flu there.

While the situation North of that city isn't as bad, hospitals in Maine and New Hampshire are reporting seeing an increasing number of patients exhibiting flu like symptoms.

At Maine Medical Center Doctors and nurses are seeing a major influx of patients with the flu coming to the emergency room and being admitted to the hospital.

"This is absolutely a very early and very severe flu season for us. It's probably the most severe flu season that we've seen in the last decade more severe with actual illness than even than the H1N1 outbreak was in 2009 and 2010", said Joshua Frances of Emergency Management at Maine Medical Center.

Maine Med officials say they're seeing greater numbers of people being treated with the flu and the illnesses they're experiencing are more severe than in years past. The hospital has called together its influenza response team to manage the influx of patients and to prepare for what may lay ahead this winter.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital is experiencing a similar situation. Doctors and nurses there were vaccinated early so they can treat patients, but hospital officials are now considering limiting visitors to the hospital to keep the flu from spreading.

"We do have a very robust influenza vaccination program for our staff so we feel comfortable in the regard however we are looking at modifying our visitor policy short term", said Martha Wassell, Director of Infection Control.

With the flu the worst it's been in year health officials stress that it's not too late to get a flu vaccination, to protect not only yourself and but also those around you.













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