Maine CDC Health Advisory
September 7, 2018
Early Start to Influenza Season in Maine
Influenza has officially arrived in Maine. Multiple Maine hospitals reported influenza positive lab results in the last few weeks, including two PCR confirmed cases, one with foreign travel and one with no travel history. Both samples tested positive for influenza A; Maine's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) confirmed one sample as influenza A/pH1N1. Maine CDC is also following up on an outbreak of influenza among travelers returning from a trip overseas. There is documented spread in Maine as contacts of the travelers also tested positive for influenza.
The 2018-2019 influenza season officially begins on September 30, 2018, but individuals should NOT wait to get vaccinated as influenza is already present in the state. Both Influenza A and B strains are currently circulating nationally. The 2018-2019 quadrivalent influenza vaccine contains components of both A strains (H1 and H3) as well as two B strains (Yamagata and Victoria) and is likely to offer good protection. Quadrivalent vaccine is recommended for optimal protection, however if only trivalent vaccine is available the recommendation is not to wait and obtain the vaccine as soon as possible.