Flu Hits Maine Hard 

The flu virus is hammering New England, raising

questions about the effectiveness of the flu shots taken by many

residents of the region.

Federal disease specialists report widespread flu activity in

virtually every state.

Massachusetts General’s network of clinics and hospital wards

report the number of patients testing positive for influenza is

already 21 percent higher this year than all of last winter.

Specialists say the strains of flu virus used in this season’s

vaccine aren’t a good match for what’s circulating.

They say one issue is that the formula for any year’s flu shots

must be chosen eight months before the flu season starts.