The US has already seen a number of flu-related deaths this season.
A massive spread of influenza across the state of Maine has compelled Portland’s Roman Catholic Diocese to revise a few traditions. These are done to ensure the good health of the parishioners. Standard interactions like the sharing of communion wine and the shaking of hands are now suspended. Hospitalizations due to influenza have risen sharply all over the state. Portland's Roman Catholic Diocese has locations all over Maine.
Reverend Gregory Dube said anyone who has kept abreast of news knows influenza has affected a number of people all over the United States. He said this during Mass at Portland's Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. The priest added that churchgoers are praying for those who are down with the flu. He assured the congregation that the church is taking all the necessary steps to minimize this kind of exposure. Other than Catholic churches, several other churches belonging to different denominations have also responded. Like the Catholic Church, they have also advised against the shaking or holding of hands. Worshipers now have access to hand sanitizer.
If you're still not sure how bad this flu season is, Catholic priests here in Maine have started *handing* parishioners the host during Holy Communion (rather than having them receive it by mouth).https://t.co/uWHnyY90hR
— Abby Norman (@abbymnorman) January 19, 2018
Officials of state health department have warned that if people do not take the flu shot by themselves, they not only place their own health on the line but also risk the lives of others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Maine has reported the flu epidemic running amok in all the state's 16 counties. The state reported a total of 1,187 positive flu cases through January 13. 327 of which required hospitalization. This is an extremely virulent influenza, a strain which will more often than not end in hospitalization.