Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Flu update 10/30/13

Maine CDC issued a health alert about the beginning of flu season in Maine on Oct. 28. The health alert is available at:

Maine reported sporadic flu activity for the week ending Oct. 26. Weekly updates are available online:

Prevention and Treatment

Take everyday preventive measures against the flu:
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, but especially after coughing and sneezing. Alcohol-based hand gels can also be used.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Germs can spread this way.
  • Get vaccinated against the flu. To find locations where vaccine is available, contact your health care provider or pharmacy, call 211, or visit or
  • Consult your health care provider about getting a pneumococcal vaccine for anyone who is younger than 5, between ages 5 and 64 with high risk conditions, or age 65 and older.
  • Avoid contact with sick people. If you are at very high risk for complications, you may want to avoid large crowds.

If you have the flu:
  • Stay home if you are sick, until you are fever-free for a full 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medicine.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue. Throw the tissue away.
  • Although most people can stay home to recover without seeing a health care provider, it is possible for healthy people to develop severe illness from the flu. Anyone with the flu should seek medical attention for:
  • Dehydration
  • Trouble breathing
  • Getting better, then suddenly getting a lot worse
  • Any major change in condition


US CDC has published a summary of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the 2013-2014 flu season at

US CDC has an influenza app for clinicians and health care providers to make it easy to access the latest guidelines and information. For more information about the app, go to

The Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) for this coming season’s vaccines are available at

For more information, visit

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