The number of flu cases in Maine shot up by nearly a quarter over the course of a week.
There were almost 1,000 new cases reported for the week ending Feb. 8. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that increase brought the total confirmed cases of influenza to nearly 5,000 for the season.
More than 275 people have been hospitalized and 17 have died, the Portland Press Herald reports.
Flu cases are above last year’s pace. The state had 3,056 cases through early February last year, but a surge in March helped bring the total to more than 10,000.
The flu season has not yet peaked in Maine. Every week since November has brought more cases statewide than the previous week.
Public health authorities recommend hand washing, vaccination and staying home when ill.