Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

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    Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

    BOSTON (AP) — Boston declared a public health emergency Wednesday as flu season struck in earnest and the state reported 18 flu-related deaths so far.

    The city is working with health care centers to offer free flu vaccines and hopes to set up places where people can get vaccinated. The city said there have been four flu-related deaths, all elderly residents, since the unofficial start of the flu season Oct. 1.

    "The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to get the flu shot," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

    The city was experiencing its worst flu season since at least 2009, Menino said, with about 700 confirmed cases of the flu, compared with 70 all of last season.

    Massachusetts was one of 29 states reporting high levels of "influenza-like illness," according to the most recent weekly flu advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The CDC said the proportion of people visiting health care providers with flu-like symptoms climbed from 2.8 percent to 5.6 percent in four weeks. By contrast, the rate peaked at only 2.2 percent during the relatively mild 2011-12 flu season.

    The estimated rate of flu-related hospitalizations in the U.S. was 8.1 per 100,000 people, which is high for this time of year, according to Dr. Joe Bresee, chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch of the CDC's influenza division.

    Barbara Ferrer, director of the Boston public health commission, said the emergency was declared in part to get residents' attention. She said that the 700 confirmed cases represent only those reported to the city and that thousands of other people may be ill.

    Boston hospitals had counted about 1,500 emergency room visits since December by people with flu-like symptoms. Menino said people with symptoms shouldn't go to work or school.

    LaKeisha Davis, 23, was at the Whittier Street Health Center on Wednesday for treatment of unrelated pain when she heard about the flu emergency being declared in Boston.

    She took a flu vaccine on the spot, fearing that if she got the flu her 4-year-old daughter might catch it as well.

    "I love her more than anything in the world and I don't want anything to happen to her," Davis said.

    Frederica Williams, president of the community health center in the inner-city Roxbury neighborhood, said her facility had opened a special flu clinic and was using social media and sending letters to residents urging them to come in and get flu shots. Williams estimated that the number of patients coming to the clinic with flu-like symptoms was triple that of a year ago.

    Hospitals around the state were also taking precautions to protect patients and staff members from exposure to the flu.

    Baystate Health, which operates Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and two other hospitals in western Massachusetts, announced it was changing its visitor policy. The hospitals will no longer allow visitors younger than 14 and are recommending no more than two people visit a patient at once.

    "This is the worst in several years," said Dr. Sarah Haessler, an infectious disease specialist at Baystate. She said the flu outbreak has strained the hospital's resources and helped to fill its beds to capacity.

    City, state and federal officials have all identified a Type A influenza known as H3N2 as the predominant strain reported so far this season. The strain, historically associated with more serious illnesses, is among those covered by the current vaccine.

    "No vaccine is 100 percent effective," cautioned Kevin Cranston, head of the state bureau of infectious diseases. Some people, for example, might be vaccinated but get the flu in the 10 days to two weeks it takes for the immunity to take hold.

    "There are any number of reasons why people could have done all the right things and still get the flu," he said.

    High flu rates were being reported all over Massachusetts, Cranston said, and while he didn't have specifics on the 18 statewide deaths, he noted that the flu is most dangerous for the young, the elderly and people with other chronic health conditions.

    "I hate needles, and I got (a shot)," Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday, adding that he wasn't aware of any shortages of vaccine in the state. He also reminded residents to use common sense, such as washing their hands and sneezing into their sleeves.

    The CDC said 18 children have died from the flu so far this season. While the CDC doesn't keep a tab of deaths overall from the flu, it estimates that 24,000 Americans die each year.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

    They have been REALLY pushing flu shots the last few years. I'm surprised they don't tackle you on the streets to administer them.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from NESportnut. Show NESportnut's posts

    Re: Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

    Simple steps can also help lower your chances of contracting this misereable affliction, along with hand washing, etc, believe it or not regular use of anticeptic mouth wash like Listerine keeps the airbourne viruses from getting too far past your mouth, they replicate in the mouth due to warm moist conditions. If anyone else has any hints, I'mm all ears(eyes?) post away!!!! I hope everyone makes it through flu season healthy!!!!KMc.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheExaminer. Show TheExaminer's posts

    Re: Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

    Oh good grief, keep the players quarantined! That'll be our next run of bad luck--the whole team comes down with the flu and can't play!

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from 56redsox. Show 56redsox's posts

    Re: Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

    In response to NESportnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Simple steps can also help lower your chances of contracting this misereable affliction, along with hand washing, etc, believe it or not regular use of anticeptic mouth wash like Listerine keeps the airbourne viruses from getting too far past your mouth, they replicate in the mouth due to warm moist conditions. If anyone else has any hints, I'mm all ears(eyes?) post away!!!! I hope everyone makes it through flu season healthy!!!!KMc.

    [/QUOTE]


    Might Help 1 Or 2 A Day........

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Philskiw1. Show Philskiw1's posts

    Re: Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

    In response to NESportnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Simple steps can also help lower your chances of contracting this misereable affliction, along with hand washing, etc, believe it or not regular use of anticeptic mouth wash like Listerine keeps the airbourne viruses from getting too far past your mouth, they replicate in the mouth due to warm moist conditions. If anyone else has any hints, I'mm all ears(eyes?) post away!!!! I hope everyone makes it through flu season healthy!!!!KMc.

    [/QUOTE]

    I wash my hands a lot and always use hand baby wipes on my shopping cart handle.   I typically never get Sick.  

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from TripleOG. Show TripleOG's posts

    Re: Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

    Please dont forget that Bush passed the patriot act that inclued the right for the GVMNT to come to YOUR home and vaccinate you against your will and do not have to tell you what they are shooting you up with. NOw why would they put a law like that in place and how many hyped up new sicknesess have occured since then like birdflu , swine flu, H1N1, etc

     

    Get educated about your gvmnt people! Sh*t is going Down!

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from TripleOG. Show TripleOG's posts

    Re: Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

    This is why we have an immune system to fight it naturally if you get it. Ive only had the flu once in my 36 years of living and never took a shot. My body fought it off and i was good. COuldnt move in bed for a week but you know what thats better than any side effects...

    BIll Gates been on this De-population rage for quite some time!

    http://vactruth.com/2013/01/06/paralyzed-after-meningitis-vaccine/

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from themightypatriots. Show themightypatriots's posts

    Re: Flu season has Boston declaring health emergency.......

    More media hype over nothing.  Be afraid people, be very afraid and pay constant attention to our broadcasts and accompanying advertisements.

     

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