Public Health Updates

Confirmed Measles Case in Maine

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention received notification of a patient with travel- associated measles who first presented to Franklin Memorial Hospital on June 18, 2017. Maine CDC is currently conducting a case investigation. Maine CDC is working with the case and clinicians to identify exposed contacts and to assess contacts for evidence of immunity. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Maine clinicians are asked to increase surveillance for rash illness suggestive of measles to identify early potential cases and prevent the spread of disease in Maine. Read more

Syphilis cases on the rise in U.S. and Maine

U.S. CDC has launched a new campaign - Syphilis Strikes Back - to raise awareness about recent increases in the number and rate of syphilis cases. In 2015, the United States experienced the highest number and rate of reported primary and secondary syphilis cases in more than 20 years.

Forty-nine cases of primary, secondary, and early latent syphilis were reported to Maine CDC in 2015, which represents a significant increase over the five-year median of 19 cases.  

In 2015, the statewide syphilis rate was 3.7 per 100,000. Rates were highest in Somerset and Cumberland counties, with rates of 11.7 per 100,000 and 9 per 100,000 respectively.

Of the reported cases, 61 percent were diagnosed in southern Maine (26 cases in Cumberland County, four cases in York County) and 22 percent of cases were diagnosed in central Maine (Kennebec and Somerset counties).

Most of the cases (76 percent) were among 25 – 54-year-olds. Since 2011, the proportion of syphilis cases in people age 40 and older has been increasing steadily from 30 percent in 2011 to 47 percent in 2015.

The majority of syphilis cases identified as male (41 cases or 82 percent). The number of early syphilis cases among females rose from one reported case in 2011 to nine reported cases in 2015. 

The predominant mode of transmission associated with reported syphilis cases was male-to-male sexual contact (32 cases or 65 percent).

For more information about syphilis, visit https://www.cdc.gov/std/sam/2017syphilis.htm

Flu Recommendations

US CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the top three or four flu viruses that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. Medical providers should be vaccinated and begin vaccinating patients soon after flu vaccine becomes available to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins.

Getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection against influenza throughout the flu season.

US CDC recommends use of the nasal spray vaccine in healthy children ages 2 to 8 when it is immediately available and if the child has no contraindications or precautions to that vaccine. Recent studies suggest that the nasal spray flu vaccine may work better than the flu shot in younger children. However, if the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available and the flu shot is, children age 2 to 8 years should get the flu shot. Don't delay vaccination to find the nasal spray flu vaccine.

Preventive Practices

Stay home if you are sick, until you are fever-free for a full 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medicine.

Get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Follow heightened respiratory etiquette to protect yourself and others by covering coughs and sneezes, and wearing a mask when indicated and appropriate.

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes as germs can spread that way.

Avoid close contact with sick people as much as possible. 

Flu Resources

Resources

Greater Franklin County Flu Hotline
(recorded information)
207-779-3147

Maine Public Call-in Number
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
1-888-257-0990
TTY 207-629-5751

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Maine.gov Website

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC.gov Website

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