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Maine CDC Head recommends influenza vaccination and increases vigilance as winter approaches

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Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

Branwick — Midcoast Hospital COVID-19 cases remain low throughout the summer, but with the rapid approach of winter, Dr. Nirafshire, head of the main Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said coronavirus and seasonal flu. The combination of can be “potentially important in every sense” that warns.

In a web panel hosted by the Brunswick Downtown Association on Wednesday, Shah told Midcoast Hospital CEO and President Royce Skillings that it’s impossible to predict the magnitude of the flu this year, but “it doesn’t matter.” Said.

“Make sure you plan to get the flu shot as soon as your health care provider says it’s appropriate, or as soon as possible,” he said.

Apart from maintaining people’s health, influenza vaccination and the resulting rate of influenza reduction are for hospitals and healthcare professionals to treat COVID-19 patients if the number of cases of illness continues to increase. Free up space and resources.

Regional cases remained relatively low throughout the pandemic. So far, 4,491 confirmed or presumed virus-positive cases have been identified in Maine. According to the Maine CDC, 31 of them live in Brunswick, 21 in Freeport, 21 in Topsham, and 17 in Bath.

The Midcoast Hospital has been treating 20 inpatients with COVID-19 since the first case was reported in March, according to hospital spokeswoman Judy Kölsch.

The hospital is currently not treating inpatients with COVID-19 and has not been infected with the virus since August 3. Authorities tested 6,510 people with 64 positive results.

Still, Mr. Shah said recent outbreaks in parts of the state, such as schools in Androscoggin County and paper mills in Oxford County, were the cause of concern.

The cool months are a sure sign of an increasing cold and flu season, but Shah is worried that he and other public health officials will lose the “protective effect” of being outside when the temperature drops. Said.

During the summer, many people have gathered outdoors with friends and family because experts believe that the risk of getting a virus or transmitting it is much lower outdoors.

I don’t think Shah will stop people from gathering when the weather changes, he thinks those gatherings will just move inward.

It can be dangerous.

He said that being very “cunning” about COVID-19 “uses what makes us human, not just what makes us a community.” We take advantage of the fact that we like to get together in groups. ”

Activities that create a “lively and worth living” life also carry a high risk of infection, “you have to keep that in mind when it comes to winter,” he said.

It is important to continue to wear the face covering the room, limit large gatherings, and keep the recommended 6 feet away.

The best way to increase mask wear is to “make sure that each of us plays our part.” “Make sure the rule is baseline.”

According to Shah, these precautions should be taken in the same way as wearing a bicycle helmet, fastening seat belts, and driving at speed limits. If the company did not implement the mandate, he suggested discussing with the manager what should be changed and why it is important.

“Individuals need to make sure they set the standard,” he said.

Authorities have urged the public to make time for the flu shot this year, but it is still unclear when the coronavirus vaccine will be available.

“The bottom line is that no one really knows,” she said, adding that the study has so many candidate vaccines that there may be more than one to choose from when the time comes.

Some are more effective for young people and some are more effective for older people, but at this point there are still many unknowns that cannot be inferred.

If the vaccine is ready for approval, Shah warned that it is likely that there will not be enough vaccine available to meet demand immediately.

In some cases, companies are increasing production and will be ready to ship “higher than expected” doses if the vaccine is approved, he said.

Conversations over who should be the first to line up for vaccination, whether health care workers, school children, elderly housing employees, or residents, are still underway and no decision has been made. ..

“When” is still “a central question in everyone’s mind,” he said.

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