City Of Boston In A State Of Public Health EmergencyEditor's Choice
Main Category: Public Health
Also Included In: Flu / Cold / SARS
Article Date: 10 Jan 2013 - 10:00 PST
City Of Boston In A State Of Public Health Emergency
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5 (1 votes)
The Mayor of Boston has announced that the city is officially in a state of 'public health emergency' due to the sheer number of flu cases that have hit the city. The flu season started on October 1st; since then there have been over 700 residents of Boston with confirmed cases of flu. This is almost ten times more than the number of people who were infected in the city last year, making this the worst flu season in years.
The Boston government says that it is currently working alongside community health centers to ensure that free vaccinations are readily available during the weekend.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino stresses the implications of this severe flu season by highlighting that there are not only health concerns associated with the outbreak, but serious economic concerns too.
"This is the worst flu season we've seen since 2009, and people should take the threat of flu seriously. 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."
A recent flu report carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that the number of people in the U.S. with influenza has shot up over the last four weeks.
Nearly four percent of all emergency visits to hospitals in the city over the past few months have been due to cases of people with the flu - this would normally (during the non-influenza season) only account for about 1 percent of visits. The drastic increase in the number of flu cases is resulting in more and more people having to be hospitalized for treatment. So far, since the beginning of the flu season, four boston residents have died from flu related complications.
Those who are at higher risk of developing serious health risks upon contracting the disease are the elderly, pregnant women and young children. People who are infected with flu need to make sure that they take the necessary precautions to limit the likelihood of transmitting the infection to friends or family members - especially those who are at a high risk of developing serious health problems.
It is vital that residents of Boston receive their flu vaccination, which can be given by their primary care doctor in the form of a shot or spray. All individuals above the age of 6 months should take it.
The Boston Public Health Commission suggests the following tips to avoid contracting or spreading the infection:
- Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds after coughing.
- If you begin to feel slightly ill then stay at home
- Refrain from touching your face, especially the nose, eyes or mouth. Germs are easily passed on this way
- Try to limit contact with people who are ill
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
City working with community health centers to offer free flu vaccinations to residents this weekend
18 May. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/254813.php>
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