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MA: Boston Mayor declares health emergency

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  • MA: Boston Mayor declares health emergency

    I'm not sure what doing this accomplishes, beyond the publicity factor.

    Official announcement from the Boston Public Health Commission:

    2013-01-09 Mayor Menino Declares Public Health Emergency as Flu Epidemic Worsens

    City working with community health centers to offer free flu vaccinations to residents this weekend

    Mayor Thomas M. Menino this morning declared a public health emergency in Boston as the latest reports show an increasingly severe flu season. Since October 1, the unofficial start of the flu season, there have been approximately 700 confirmed cases of flu among Boston residents, a ten-fold increase when compared to the 70 cases confirmed all of last flu season. The flu season in Boston typically stretches through the end of March. Mayor Menino and the Boston Public Health Commission are working with community health centers around the city to offer free vaccination clinics this weekend.

    “This is the worst flu season we’ve seen since 2009, and people should take the threat of flu seriously,” Mayor Menino said. “This is not only a health concern, but also an economic concern for families, and I’m urging residents to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. It’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family. If you’re sick, please stay home from work or school.”

    Flu cases are now accounting for over 4 percent of all emergency department visits at Boston hospitals, compared to about 1 percent during non-influenza season. Of influenza cases reported to date in Boston residents, 25 percent have been ill enough to require hospitalization. Since October 1, four Boston residents, all seniors, have died from flu-related illnesses. Certain people, including the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other conditions), are at greater risk for serious illness if they get influenza. Some individuals may not be at risk for severe illness themselves, but can transmit the infection to their families, friends, and patients.

    The Boston Public Health Commission is urging people to contact their primary care doctor to get a flu vaccination, which can be administered as a shot or as a nasal spray. Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated against influenza. Boston residents that need help finding where to get vaccinated can contact the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday, or the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at 617-635-4500 after hours.

    Tips to avoid getting sick or spreading germs:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. If water is not nearby, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
    • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can spread this way.
    • As much as possible, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • If you have a fever or feel ill, stay home.



    The following article expands on the situation in Boston and MA:

    Mayor Menino declares public health emergency in Boston because of flu outbreak

    "Health care centers across the city will be offering free vaccines to anyone who hasn’t yet been immunized. The city has 700 confirmed cases of flu so and four flu-related deaths. Last year Boston had only 70 confirmed cases.

    Massachusetts has had 18 flu-related deaths so far this season, according to the state Department of Public Health.

    “We’re off to an early start nationally and in Massachusetts,” Kevin Cranston, director of the DPH Bureau of Infectious Disease, told reporters today before a meeting of the state Public Health Council. While the last two flu seasons have been mild, this one is on pace to be a “moderately severe” season, he said. “This is probably on its way to be more severe than average but still not unprecedented in severity.”

    The good news is that the strains of flu virus in circulation this year were anticipated, and 91 percent of the viruses found in testing this year are well-matched to the vaccine, Cranston said...

    ...Cranston, of the Department of Public Health, said the flu season has been accompanied by a significant number of cases of norovirus, an intestinal illness, so “it’s been a bit of a double whammy, particularly on families that have sick children.” "



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  • #2
    Re: MA: Boston Mayor declares health emergency

    In another sign of a rapidly worsening flu season, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared a public health emergency on Wednesday because of a sharp rise in cases -- and he urged his city's residents to get flu shots.

    Boston has seen about 700 confirmed cases of influenza since the season began in October. That compares to about 70 cases for all of last year, said Nick Martin, a spokesman for the Boston Public Health Commission. While last year was an unusually mild flu season, according to government health officials, those numbers are worrisome.

    "This is the worst flu season we've seen since 2009, and people should take the threat of flu seriously," Menino said in a news release. "This is not only a health concern, but also an economic concern for families, and I'm urging residents to get vaccinated if they haven't already. It's the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family. If you're sick, please stay home from work or school."...

    http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2...-reported?lite

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    • #3
      Re: MA: Boston Mayor declares health emergency

      Flu off to early start with 18 dead, Boston declares emergency


      The state has already registered 18 deaths from individuals with flu-like symptoms, and for every 1,000 hospital beds there are more than 40 hospitalizations for flu-like symptoms, which include respiratory problems and a fever, according to a presentation Cranston made to the Public Health Council on Wednesday morning. Cranston said the deaths occurred among older individuals.

      Read more: Flu off to early start with 18 dead, Boston declares emergency - Newton, Massachusetts - Newton TAB http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge...#ixzz2HW3X128d

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      • #4
        Re: MA: Boston Mayor declares health emergency

        Mayor Menino Declares Public Health Emergency as Flu Epidemic Worsens

        Mayor Thomas M. Menino has declared a public health emergency in Boston as the latest reports show an increasingly severe flu season. Since October 1, the unofficial start of the flu season, there have been approximately 700 confirmed cases of flu among Boston residents, a ten-fold increase when compared to the 70 cases confirmed all of last flu season.

        Mayor Menino and the Boston Public Health Commission are working with community health centers around the city to offer the following free vaccination clinics:

        Friday, January 11

        Dorchester
        1pm – 4pm Uphams Corner Community Health Ctr

        Saturday, January 12

        Allston-Brighton
        9am -1pm Joseph Smith Community Health Ctr

        Chinatown
        10am – 1pm South Cove Community Health Ctr

        Dorchester
        9am – 12pm Dorchester House Health Ctr
        9am – 12:30pm Bowdoin Street Health Ctr
        9am – 4pm Geiger Gibson Community Health Ctr
        9:30am – 1pm Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Ctr
        9am – 4pm Neponset Community Health Ctr
        9am – 1pm Uphams Corner Community Health Ctr

        East Boston
        10am – 2pm East Boston Neighborhood Health Ctr

        Fenway
        9:30am – 1pm Fenway Community Health Ctr

        Hyde Park
        12pm – 3pm Hyde Park Municipal Bldg

        Jamaica Plain
        8:30am – 12pm Brookside Community Health Ctr
        9am – 1pm Martha Eliot Health Ctr
        9am – 12pm Southern Jamaica Plain Health Ctr

        Mattapan
        9am – 1pm Mattapan Community Health Ctr

        North End
        8:30am – 12 pm North End Community Health Ctr

        Roslindale
        9:30am – 11:30am Greater Roslindale Medical & Dental Ctr

        Roxbury
        9am – 12pm Dimock Community Health Ctr
        9am – 1pm Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Ctr
        10am – 4pm Whittier Street Health Center

        South Boston
        9am – 1pm South Boston Community Health Ctr

        South End
        9am – 1pm South End Community Health Ctr

        Sunday, January 13

        Dorchester
        12pm – 4pm Codman Square Health Center

        Downtown
        9am – 1pm St. Anthony’s Wellness Center

        Click here for more information about each clinic.

        http://www.bphc.org/Pages/Home.aspx
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela

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