January 22, 2019
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Flu deaths reach 55 in Maine, but new cases dropping

David Goldman | AP
David Goldman | AP
In a Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 file photo, lab technologist Sharda Modi tests a patient's swab for a flu infection at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston, Georgia. So far 55 people in Maine have died from the flu this season, but the number of new reported cases is dropping.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Another three people have died from the flu in Maine, bringing the season’s total to 55. But there are also signs that the worst of the season is over.

Statistics from the Maine Center for Disease Control suggest that the number of influenza cases has dropped for a third consecutive week. All told, the state had 636 new confirmed cases and 113 hospitalizations in the past week. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at more than 5,600.

Flu season runs October until May.

This flu season has been driven by a type of influenza that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths. Making a bad year worse, this year’s flu vaccine is estimated to be only 25 percent effective against that type.

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