Influenza near epidemic proportions in Maine


AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine’s epidemiologist says the early-arriving influenza is “reaching epidemic proportions” and there’s no sign that it has reached its peak.

Dr. Stephen Sears said Friday that the vaccine supply is holding up, even though there have been some spot shortages. He says state and private pharmacies appear to have adequate supply for the time being and that it’s not too late for people to get a vaccination.

There have been more than 70 reported outbreaks and the disease claimed the life of an otherwise healthy elementary school-aged girl, reported in December.

Sears says virtually all hospitals are near capacity but they’re managing to keep a few empty beds. He urges people not to visit hospitals or go to work if they’re sick.