Friday, 09 February 2018 14:48

Flu not slowing down in Maine Featured

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ROCKLAND (WGME) - The flu continues to spread across the country. Here in Maine the devastating illness shows no signs of slowing down. In the past week five more Mainers have died.

Of the 21 new outbreaks, 19 of them are in long term care facilities. Some are now asking visitors to stay away.


"Well, it's a little bit scary." Kay Sylvester is one of 60 Rockland seniors living in the Bartlett Woods Retirement Community. She's worried about getting the flu after one of her friends here was recently hospitalized for influenza. Sylvester said "It's hard telling where she may have picked up the bug."


Staff stated even though everyone here got flu shots, two still got the flu. Mary Eads, Bartlette Woods Executive Director, said "We have only had two residents that have been confirmed with the flu. One was about two weeks ago and one was over the weekend."


To stop the spread of germs, residents who feel sick are being asked to stay in their apartments where staff can care for them. And employees feeling sick are asked to stay home.


The nearby Knox Center for Long Term Care is taking it a step further after one of their residents got the flu. They have signs posted requesting no visitors at this time.


Knox Center Administrator Carol Timberlake said "Once we've had an outbreak, that's when we start to hammer down." She added "It's just really to protect our residents and to make sure we're doing all the right things."


Last week, 35 new cases of the flu were confirmed in Knox County with half those patients ending up in the hospital.


Statewide, The Maine CDC confirms more than 3000 cases of influenza so far this winter. That includes 876 new cases last week, the highest weekly total Maine has seen so far. And 120 of those new patients had to be hospitalized.


Kay Sylvester believes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A common sense guide, she said, to avoiding the flu.