The number of swine flu cases in the state has grown to 13, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, announced Friday that an adult from Cumberland County is the latest case to be confirmed by the state laboratory. Five cases are now identified in York County, three in Kennebec County, four in Cumberland County and one in Penobscot County.
Only four of the 13 cases have been confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there is typically a lag of several days between state identification and official confirmation by the U.S. CDC.
Mills said six of the 13 affected individuals recently traveled to an area with confirmed swine flu. Of the other seven, five had no contact with another identified patient. That suggests they may have contracted swine flu from others with the disease in Maine who have yet to be identified, Mills said.
“This points out that as the infection spreads and re-circulates, the number of cases and specific locations becomes less meaningful,” she said in a prepared statement. “There clearly are other people with H1N1 in Maine and probably other specific locations such as other schools and counties as well.”
A school and a day care center in Kennebunk were closed last week in response to the flu outbreak, but both reopened this week.
Unless there is “something of significance” to report in connection to the H1N1 flu in Maine, the Maine CDC no longer will offer daily media updates on the number of cases in the state. The information will be tallied by 5 p.m. each day on the agency’s Web site.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.