Head of Maine CDC says state in midst of syndemic

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 12:28 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Maine finds itself in the midst of a syndemic which could be the cause of a rise in cases of coronavirus.

That’s according to the head of the Maine CDC.

Dr. Nirav Shah explains it’s two parallel occurring epidemics that may or may not have a connection.

The state prioritized vaccinating older people.

However, that group of people isn’t largely interacting with the state’s younger population.

“The fact that they’ve been vaccinated doesn’t really help slow transmission among younger Mainers who are just now getting their vaccination numbers up. When you couple that sort of syndemic phenomenon with variants which are more contagious, that is my hypothesis right now as to why our case numbers are high and maybe even staying high and maybe even going higher,” said Shah, Maine CDC director.

Shah did say testing plays a role in the case count as well.

At last report, Maine was testing around 870 people per 100,000.

He says those numbers are among the best in the world.

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