Doctors Urge for Flu Vaccine in Light of Serious Maine Outbreak 

If you haven’t had one already, you should consider getting a flu shot.So say doctors, with Maine in the middle of a serious flu outbreak. They say it’s not just the numbers, but the severity of the cases they’re seeing that’s causing concern.(dr. august valenti/maine medical center epidemiologist) “It’s very bad I think. This is a pretty aggresive flu season.” Infectious disease specialist, Doctor August Valenti, in fact, says it’s one of the ‘most’ aggressive flu seasons in years. Statewide, he says, Maine’s reported 32 actual cases so far, compared to just ten all of last season, and this year’s predominate strain is different.”This flu is an H3N2, which is a circulatory strain. It’s not anything particularly uncommon but we just haven’t seen it as a predominate strain in a few years.””It’s a public safety issue, and a public health issue,” says Education Comissioner, Stephen Bowen.Such an important issue, he’s now urging schools to further offer and encourage all students to get flu shots, working with Maine’s CDC, the vaccinations are free.”You get through the holidays and as everybody gets back to school let’s remind everyone that this opportunity exists.” “We don’t want emergency rooms crowded with influenza.”Here at Maine Medical Center, doctors say too many people are showing up to the emergency room with flu or flu-like symptoms. Not only does that lead to overcrowding, but it can help spread the disease as well.”It’s best not to rush to the hospital, we can treat it many times over the phone.” Valenti says the flu season generally follows a bell-like curve, peaking around February: however this year he’s hoping we may’ve already seen the worst. “With the season starting a little early, my hope is it will peak a little early and disappear.”Again, if you have flu symptoms, either call your doctor or go to a clinic. Hospitals discourage people from showing up at the emergency room.