AUGUSTA — Early cases of the flu in Maine have prompted state officials to increase vaccination efforts.

The Bangor Daily News reported that multiple Maine hospitals have reported positive lab tests for influenza. Flu season usually begins in early October, but early cases of the illness have forced the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to take action.

Authorities say Influenza A and B strains are circulating nationwide. Health officials recommend receiving the quadrivalent flu vaccine to guard against four strains of influenza this season. Vaccine effectiveness varies from person to person.

Authorities are reminding Maine residents to wash their hands regularly and cover coughs to reduce the spread of illnesses this season. Flu symptoms include fever, muscle aches and coughing.

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