Maine CDC Health Advisory
December 23, 2020
Influenza Testing Reminder
Maine CDC has recently received an increase in reported positive influenza antigen tests. Some specimens have been sent to Maine's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) for further analysis, but none have been confirmed.
This is a reminder that providers are asked to send their first ten positive influenza specimens to HETL for confirmation and subtyping. This helps to determine where and which type of influenza is circulating in Maine. Instructions on submitting specimens for influenza testing can be found at: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/public-health-systems/health-and-environmental-testing/micro/submitting-samples.shtml.
Influenza-related hospitalizations, influenza-like illness outbreaks, and influenza-associated pediatric deaths are required to be reported to Maine CDC. Though all other cases of influenza are not required to be reported, Maine CDC does appreciate reports of these as well.
The best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated. Maine CDC and national authorities recommend all individuals older than 6 months be immunized, even if they were vaccinated for influenza last season. It is not too late to get vaccinated.