MAINE, USA — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said Wednesday that influenza has been confirmed in all 16 Maine counties. It is now classified as widespread across the state.

DHHS said so far during this flu season, which began in the fall of 2019 and will continue into spring of 2020, 90 people in Maine have been hospitalized with due to the virus. 1,287 positive flu tests had been reported as of Wednesday, Jan. 8.

DHHS said it's estimated that more than 6.4 million people across the U.S. have been infected since late September 2019.

“Influenza is unpredictable and, in some cases, deadly,” Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said. “The most effective way to prevent the spread of influenza is to get vaccinated, and it’s not too late to get a flu shot.”

Flu viruses spread when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Seasonal influenza symptoms include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, and fatigue. In some cases, influenza can result in more severe symptoms. So far this season, Maine has recorded six flu-related deaths.

Maine CDC suggests four simple steps to reduce the spread of the illness:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Stay home when you're sick.
  • Get vaccinated.

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