The flu season continues to hit both the United States and Maine hard. The number of flu cases in Maine specifically continues to climb, according to a Maine Center for Disease Control weekly surveillance report. Last week, 876 new cases were reported, compared to about 530 cases the week before.
Last week also saw five deaths due to the flu in Maine, bringing the total this season to 34.
Maine Medical Center epidemiologist Dr. August Valenti says if you develop the flu, it's important to take extra precautions.
“I do think this year you should call your doctor and at least let them know you're having influenza,” says Valenti. “Some people have suffered very serious complications very quickly.”
Valenti says those most at risk for complications are the very young, the old and those who have underlying respiratory illnesses.
Flu activity is high and widespread across most of the U.S., according to the U.S. CDC. Health officials say every day steps like washing hands frequently and covering your cough can help prevent the spread of flu.