Maine CDC Press Release

October 30, 2009

H1N1 Influenza is Widespread in Maine, Vaccine Efforts Unprecedented

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH
(207)-287-3270
Or John Martins, Director
Employee and Public Communications
(207) 287-5012

AUGUSTA - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention/Maine DHHS has determined H1N1 influenza (swine flu) to be widespread in the state. However, the H1N1 vaccine is also being administered at unprecedented speed.

“Although the vaccine supply is trickling in at a much slower rate than we would like, the H1N1 vaccine efforts in Maine are extraordinary,” said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, the Director of the Maine CDC. “An estimated 12,000 school-aged children were vaccinated this week in many communities across state. Many more school clinics are planned for next week.”

Most of these clinics will be located in schools and will take place during regular school hours to minimize disruption for students, teachers and parents, Mills said. With so many children being vaccinated against H1N1, not only are they being protected, but their entire community is also given some protection since school children are the major transmitters of influenza, she added.

Maine CDC received its first vaccine last week for pregnant women. Those doses have arrived in hospitals and many obstetrical practices across the state. Shipments of vaccine to pediatric health care providers for pre-school aged children have steadily increased and several school clinics have also opened their doors to them. This week, 44,000 doses of vaccine are expected to arrive, bringing the total number of doses to 99,000.

H1N1 is now widespread in Maine, with increases in visits to health care providers and school absenteeism, especially in the southern half of the state. There have been nine outbreaks in schools and other settings. In addition, the first Piscataquis County case of H1N1 was diagnosed. Two people were hospitalized this week and both hve been discharged and are recovering at home, Mills said.

“With enough vaccine for only one in seven people in the high priority groups, it is important that everyone know what they can do to prevent illness as well as what they should do if they become ill,” Mills said.

The Maine CDC recommends

  • Everyone be extra vigilant with respiratory hygiene:

    1. Cover your coughs and sneezes;
    2. Wash your hands frequently; and
    3. Stay home if you’re sick with a fever.
  • If you are at very high risk for complications, you may want to avoid large crowds. There is generally no reason for large gatherings to be cancelled, but people who are at high risk for complications should consider avoiding them.

  • If you or your household member is sick with the symptoms, which are a fever plus a sore throat and/or a cough, there are several things you should be aware of.

    1. Know that most people can stay home without a seeing a health care provider;
    2. People with influenza should drink fluids and get plenty of rest;
    3. Call your health care provider if you are at high risk for complications and you or a household member has symptoms of H1N1. You should be considered for prescription medicines that treat influenza, called antivirals (known as Tamiflu and Relenza).
  • Those at risk for complications include:

    1. Children younger than 2 years old
    2. Adults 65 years and older
    3. Pregnant women
    4. Anyone with certain underlying medical conditions
  • Anyone with influenza symptoms should seek medical attention for:

    1. Dehydration
    2. Trouble breathing
    3. Getting better then suddenly getting a lot worse
    4. Any major change in one’s condition

A list of school clinics over the next two weeks and vaccine distribution follows. Check www.maineflu.gov for up-to-date clinic information.

Some towns that have school vaccine clinics scheduled this week:

  • Augusta
  • Bangor-Brewer area
  • Belfast/Searsport
  • Belgrade
  • Bethel
  • Benton
  • Cape Elizabeth
  • Cumberland/North Yarmouth
  • Freeport
  • Gardiner
  • Indian Township
  • Lewiston
  • Matinicus
  • Monmouth
  • Pittsfield
  • Portland
  • Pownal
  • Sanford/Springvale
  • Thorndike/Unity
  • Westbrook

Some towns with probable school clinics next week:

  • Auburn
  • Augusta area
  • Bangor/Brewer area
  • Bath
  • Bethel
  • Brunswick
  • Durham
  • Fairfield
  • Farmington
  • Hallowell/Farmingdale
  • Hartland
  • Indian Island
  • Kittery
  • Lewiston
  • Limestone
  • Monmouth
  • Pittsfield
  • Portland
  • Strong
  • Topsham
  • Vassalboro
  • Waterville/Winslow area
  • Wells
  • Westbrook
  • York

Many are listed on the clinic locator at http://www.maineflu.gov

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION AS OF FRIDAY OCTOBER 30, 2009

County:Doses % of population
Cumberland28,90010%
Kennebec12,60010%
Penobscot12,2008%
York12,1006%
Androscoggin8,5008%
Knox4,40011%
Aroostook4,2006%
Oxford3,2006%
Hancock2,3004%
Somerset2,3005%
Washington2,0006%
Waldo2,1006%
Franklin1,8006%
Lincoln1,7005%
Piscataquis5003%
Sagadahoc2001%
Total99,000Average = 6%
Many residents of one county (eg Sagadahoc) obtain their care in another county (Cumberland).