Thursday, March 3, 2011

Influenza Update 3/3/11

Surveillance

Flu is widespread in Maine. In the week ending Feb. 19, there were 12 new outbreaks – 10 in long term care facilities, 1 in a K-12 school, and 1 in an institution.

Weekly updates on flu activity are available

The January 31 Health Alert on influenza is available at: http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=191687&an=2

Vaccination

Some people have expressed concern about needing a second flu vaccine if they were vaccinated early in the fall. One flu vaccine is protective for the entire flu season and a second dose is not recommended for adults.

An MMWR from August 2010 notes that “additional vaccine doses during the same season do not increase the antibody response” and that the “frequency of breakthrough infections is not known to be higher among those who were vaccinated early in the season.”

Two doses of flu vaccine are only recommended for young children who have never been vaccinated before. Children younger than 9 who have never had a seasonal flu vaccine should receive two doses, spaced at least 4 weeks apart.

It is not too late to be vaccinated against the flu this season. To obtain flu vaccine, contact your health care provider, or look up clinics at www.flu.gov or www.211maine.org

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