Although most influenza activity occurs from October to May in the U.S., flu viruses are detected year round. Providers in Maine have reported positive rapid influenza and serology tests in the last month. Summer and early fall are also the prime time for agricultural fairs, which provides an increased risk for flu associated with swine contact.
Maine CDC requests that all rapid positive influenza samples during the summer months be forwarded to Maine’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) for confirmation and typing. This will allow us to monitor the circulating strains, and identify any variants if present.
If a provider sees a patient with flu-like symptoms who has swine or bird exposures; samples should be sent to HETL for testing. Rapid tests may not pick up variant strains, and only the state lab is capable of determining if a strain is a variant.
- Suspected novel or variant cases should be reported immediately by phone to 800-821-5821.
- Outbreaks and pediatric deaths are required to be reported
- We appreciate all positive lab tests, reported by fax (207-287-6865 or 800-293-7534) or by phone (800-821-5821) but this is not required