Maine CDC Press Release

May 1, 2009

H1N1 Flu Cases Increase to Six Statewide;Day Care Center in York County Cleared to Re-Open; Kennebunk Elementary Remains Closed

Governor's Office

AUGUSTA – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified today three additional individuals as having the H1N1 flu, bringing the State total to six.

Two adults, one in Kennebec County and one in York County have H1N1. A youth in York County also has the flu. The youth is one of two children in York who earlier in the week had been described as "suspicious" cases. The second youth in York County who had been described as "suspicious" did not test positive for H1N1.

Totals as of Friday, May 1: two adults in Kennebec County, two adults and one youth in York County, and one youth in Penobscot County. All are recovering.

"As we see more individuals with H1N1, the actual number of probable cases will become less important," said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, the Director of the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We know the flu is in Maine and our priority is to slow its transmission and to treat those who are ill."

In addition, Maine CDC continues to closely monitor guidance for mitigating the spread of H1N1 that is being developed by the U.S. CDC.

According to current guidance, which was updated on May 1, Kennebunk Elementary School will remain closed for at least seven calendar days. The length of closure could grow to 14 days as U.S. CDC revises its guidance. That guidance is being reviewed this weekend. The youth with H1N1 in York County is a student at the school.

The Crayon Academy day care center is cleared to re-open for normal operations on Monday. The youth from the center has tested negative for H1N1. While the day care center can re-open, the child attendee will not return until cleared.

There has been confusion resulting from terminology used to describe cases of H1N1. In some instances, cases have been called "confirmed" or "probable." A probable case means that tests performed by Maine CDC show a person has H1N1. Probable cases are then sent to U.S. CDC for final confirmation.

"Suspicious" cases involve individuals who, through a combination of factors, are considered to have H1N1 but no final conclusion has been reached through testing.

Dr. Mills re-iterated the need for people to stay informed, be prepared, and most importantly practice proper respiratory hygiene, including the following steps:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to avoid infecting them.

For facts about influenza, and more information about H1N1 flu, please visit the Maine CDC and U.S. CDC Web sites. Some specific resources: Maine CDC Web site on Swine Flu: www.mainepublichealth.gov; or http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/swine-flu-2009.shtml U.S. CDC Web site on Swine Flu: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ Preventing the Flu: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.ht