BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The speed with which this years flu virus is spreading is unlike any other, which is causing several businesses that serve two of the most at risk age groups to vamp up health measures.
One group that is especially prone to the virus is young kids. Seventy youngsters stay at the Little Angels Daycare on Broadway in Bangor during the week, which is why Owner Carol Duprey takes every precaution necessary to keep them from getting sick.
"We are instituting that when a child comes in they will be screened for symptoms. If they're showing flu like symptoms than they have to go home," said Duprey.
That policy will be in effect starting next week due to the high volume of flu cases reported this year. According to Maine's epidemiologist, Dr. Stephen Sears, there have been more than 70 reported outbreaks and the disease claimed the life of an otherwise healthy elementary school-aged girl in December.
The elderly are especially prone to catching the flu because of their weaker immune systems. Ross Manor Nursing Home in Bangor is taking extra precautions. It's enforcing its usual rules regarding hand washing and sanitizing, but is also offering vaccinations for both residents and staff. Workers who choose not to get a flu shot are required to wear masks on the job. So far Ross Manor has had just one case of the flu this year, and the hope is the extra precautions will keep people from getting sick.
"Our commitment here is to make sure that all of our staff have the opportunity to be vaccinated, prepared," said Community Executive Director, Garth Berenyi. "Our residents, our patients, so yeah we're kind of used to the drill so to speak."
Both Ross Manor and Little Angels Daycare is asking its visitors to stay home if they're showing any type of flu symptoms. Health officials say that five days is the recommended amount of time to give yourself to recover at home from the time your symptoms first appear.