Maine CDC Urges Mainers To Keep Taking Precautions During Flu Season
The Maine Center for Disease Control is calling it an epidemic.”It is a state of an epidemic and the definition of an epidemic is an acute infectious disease that is widespread and is in increased amounts over the entire season and that’s exactly what we have here,” said Dr. Sheila Pinette, the director for the Maine CDC.The flu has touched every county in the state.”We had 125 outbreaks at long-term care facilities, as well as our schools with absenteeism. Schools are required to report to the Maine CDC if they have a greater than 15% absenteeism of students,” said Pinette.She says 17 school districts reached that threshold since the season began.As the spring semester kicks off, school officials at UMaine in Orono are taking every precaution.”We’ve increased our cleaning levels in resident halls, meaning that we’ve added a second disinfectant cleaning on all touch points, door handles, public door handles, stair wells, water coolers, things that people would touch on a regular basis so we’ve increased that from level one to two right now in all of our resident halls,” said Richard Young, the auxiliary operations director at UMaine.They’ve administered more than eleven hundred flu shots this season, which began and peaked early. That’s caused many pharmacies to run out of vaccinations.”We ran out last Saturday. Unfortunately, all the area pharmacies that I have checked with, you know, they have not had it either, they’ve actually run out of it before I did,” said Ali Aghamoosa, owner of Orono Pharmacy.The number of vaccines ordered is generally planned a year in advance.”We didn’t anticipate that we were going to run into such an issue. Obviously, I’m going to take this into consideration that we don’t run into issues that we shouldn’t have any, so I’m going to increase my par a little more than what we did last year,” said Aghamoosa.For information on where you can find vaccinations in your area, as well AS tips for treatment and prevention visitflu.gov.