Maine’s first influenza-related death of the 2019-20 season was an adult in York County, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eight people have been hospitalized so far this flu season, the public health agency said in a weekly report tracking the progress of the disease.

A spokesman for the Maine CDC, Robert Long, said Sunday that the death in York County was reported in the week ending Nov. 30. Long did not provide other details about the adult who died or exactly where the death occurred.

The weekly report also notes that the influenza deaths it records may not represent the true toll, because some flu patients die of secondary causes after being weakened by the disease.

Public health officials have warned that this flu season may be severe, and have been encouraging Mainers to get their flu shots.

The number of cases reported to the Maine CDC has risen every year since 2015-16. Last season, Maine had 10,418 confirmed cases of the flu and 48 flu-related deaths, compared to 9,050 cases and 82 deaths the year before.

An estimated 37 million to 43 million people got the flu in the United States during the last season, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Greater Portland Health, a public health nonprofit, is offering free flu shots to everyone, including those without insurance, at its nine locations in Portland and South Portland.

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