Maine CDC Health Advisory

September 13, 2022

Influenza Arrives in Maine

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has received several reports of positive influenza laboratory results during recent weeks. Maine CDC is requesting that laboratories send respiratory specimens from influenza confirmed or suspect patients to Maine's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) for subtyping, especially in the beginning of influenza season. Subtyping allows Maine CDC to determine which influenza viruses are circulating this season and detect novel influenza virus infections.

Novel influenza A viruses cause human infection but are different from current seasonal human influenza A viruses that circulate among people. In August 2022, U.S. CDC reported 5 cases of human variant virus infection, or viruses that typically circulate in swine, and avian influenza H5N1 continues to circulate in wild and domestic birds. Though the risk to humans remains low, healthcare providers should be aware and test symptomatic patients with risk factors such as swine, agriculture, and avian exposures for influenza. HETL is the only laboratory in Maine that can identify novel influenza, therefore, all influenza A positive specimens from people with these exposures should be sent to HETL for further evaluation.

Advisory (PDF)