PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The number of flu cases in Maine shot up by nearly a quarter over the course of a week.

There were almost 1,000 new cases reported for the week that ended Feb. 8.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that increase brought the total confirmed cases of influenza to nearly 5,000 for the season.

The Portland Press Herald reports more than 275 people have been hospitalized and 17 have died.

Flu cases are above last year's pace.

Public health authorities recommend washing hands, getting vaccinated and staying home when ill.

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