While data show lower seasonal flu cases in ME compared to other states, the strain that is circulating is more severe and leading to more hospitalizations. Iowa is seeing "regional" flu activity while Minnesota is seeing "widespread" flu activity, the highest category on the scale. There have been 70 deaths across the USA, according to the CDC.
CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said that 22 people were confirmed to have serious flu complications, 18 of whom did not receive vaccinations.
Dr Frank Rhame, an infection disease doctor with Allina Health told CBS Minnesota: 'We say stay at home if you can'. Lawrenchuk says the virus mutates from year to year so it's very hard to predict with 100% certainty which strain will be circulating in a community.
Flu season runs from October through the month of April, but now with so much more global travel, there are actually cases of influenza reported year round according to Livingston County Medical Director Dr. Don Lawrenchuk.
"Prevention is better than cure, and the increase in flu activity means it is even more important to get your flu jab if you are in an at-risk group". By some estimates, this year's shot is only 39 percent effective.
Of those, the CDC estimates that as many as 56,000 have died from the viral infection in a given recent year.
Flu season lasts from October to May.
As of last week, there was "high activity" of the flu - the highest prevalence ranking - in almost half of the US.
More than 100 of those cases required hospitalization.
'If it continues to be the predominant type, we could expect that'. At the same time a year ago, 12 people were hospitalized. "The illness is contagious through droplets in the air", he said.
The CDC has recommended three main antivirals: oseltamivir (sold under the brand name Tamiful, ) zanamivir (Relenza), and peramivir, all of which the CDC says contain a strain of H3N2 which should be effective against this year's version.
To prevent the flu or at least minimize symptoms, Bennett says to get vaccinated and wash your hands frequently.
Flu season typically peaks anywhere between December and March, according to the CDC.
'We think it's tracking upward, and it's on the earlier side, ' she added.