Influenza cases continue to soar in Maine, although the rate of increase has slowed.

Maine recorded 3,275 new cases of influenza Tuesday, up from 2,391 new cases the previous week. That’s a 37% increase in new cases following a 39% increase the previous week, but down from a 100% increase the week before.

Maine also reported 133 new hospitalizations for influenza in the past week. Overall for the 2022-23 flu season, Maine has logged 9,052 cases and 339 hospitalizations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has categorized Maine as high activity for influenza, as is most of the nation.

The flu vaccine appears to be a good match for influenza A H3N2, the predominant strain circulating, public health experts say.

Public health advocates are recommending flu vaccinations as well as getting all available vaccines against COVID-19, including a booster shot that protects against the omicron strain circulating now. Like this year’s flu shot, the COVID-19 vaccine also is considered very effective.

Everyone 6 months and older can get a flu shot, and people 5 and older who have not yet received a COVID-19 booster can get one. In addition, many children ages 6 months to 4-years-old can get a booster, depending on when they got their other vaccines, and whether they have previously received two COVID-19 shots or three. Consult with your pediatrician for more information.

Many pharmacies and primary care practices will give eligible patients flu and COVID-19 booster shots during the same visit.

As hospitals see more flu patients needing care, the number of hospitalized patients with COVID continues to hover at about 100 patients statewide. Hospitals also continue to care for an unusually high number of young people with RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, another respiratory illness circulating this winter. The state does not track RSV cases and there is no vaccine available.

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