Thursday, January 31, 2013
While seasonal influenza remains the city's main health issue, officials say the stomach bug is widespread right now, too.
The Boston area is seeing more than just the flu this time of year. The “winter vomiting bug,” or norovirus, is making its rounds as well. “The norovirus, which many people call the stomach flu, is widespread this year,” said Katinka Podmaniczky, assistant director of communications for the Boston Public Health Commission. “We encourage everyone to take simple precautions to protect themselves and others, like washing hands frequently and staying home if you feel sick.” In Boston, right now about 2.5 percent of all emergency room visits are related to accute gastrointenstinal problems, which may or may not be caused by a norovirus, according to a Health Commission report. This time last year, that number was just over 3 percent. The …
Friday, August 17, 2012
On Thursday city officials found a West Roxbury pool that tested positive for the disease. Other neighborhood pools had tested positive last month.
The city found more West Nile Virus in West Roxbury on Thursday. The Boston Public Health Commission said it found mosquito pools both in West Roxbury as well as Roslindale. That comes after positive tests in July for West Roxbury, JP, Hyde Park, North Dorchester and East Boston. While there have been no confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus in Boston this year, there was one this week in Middlesex County. The victim, a man in his 60s, is hospitalized but recovering, according to the Boston Globe. The Health Commission recommends what it calls "simple steps" to avoid mosquito bites: These steps include using insect repellant when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to be biting and, when possible, …
Thursday, July 26, 2012
No human cases of West Nile Virus have occurred this summer in Boston, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. This is the third positive test in West Roxbury this summer.
Boston Public Health Commission officials reported today that another mosquito pool in West Roxbury tested positive for the West Nile Virus. Along with the West Roxbury pool, the commission said additional mosquito pools tested positive in North Dorchester and Hyde Park, and West Roxbury. There have been positive results already found in West Roxbury twice this year, and in Roslindale. Other positive test results were found in Hyde Park and East Boston earlier this summer. West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus, but important to note - it poses very low risk to humans. “It’s again the time of year when it’s not surprising to find mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus …
Sunday, July 15, 2012
A recent study showed that individuals who had ever used indoor tanning beds had a 74 percent higher chance of developing melanoma compared to “never-users.”
Want a “healthy tan”? Increasingly, research suggests this popular warm weather quest is just a mirage. Tanning is not healthy at all. For more than 10 years, we have known that exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UVR) causes skin cancer, including melanoma, which is responsible for 80 percent of skin cancer deaths. We can all protect ourselves from the harmful effects of the sun by minimizing our midday sun exposure, wearing protective clothing including hats and sunglasses, applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) greater than 15 before going outdoors, and reapplying sunscreen every two hours. Sunscreen is safe to use on children six months or older. More recently, artificial sources of UVR, such as indoor tanning…
Thursday, July 12, 2012
City councilors said public health data being shared between the state and city is often months behind, which hurts identifying public health issues.
Boston health officials want to improve the process used to share health data with the state, saying the current process has a months-long lag that hurts health improvement measures. The Boston City Council on Wednesday supported a measure to improve health data sharing between the city and state. The home rule petition, which would create a streamlined process between the state and the Boston Public Health Commission to share public health data, was originally endorsed by the council in 2011. Massachusetts doesn't have county public health commissions, so the Boston Public Health Commission, which was created in 1996, plays that role. "This streamlines the situation, and make partnerships with the City and state more fluid," said …
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
From 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, there will be a free boot camp class at Boston's City Hall Plaza – rain or shine.
Starting on Wednesday, you can "enjoy" a free boot camp class at Boston's City Hall Plaza after work. As a part of the city's Boston Moves for Health program, Fitness on the Plaza is offering free Fitcorp boot camp classes every Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., starting tomorrow, until Aug. 29 (except Aug. 15). The classes are outside, rain or shine. Participants should come prepared with athletic clothing, athletic footwear and a water bottle. The class emphasizes endurance and strength using a variety of drills and techniques to hit all the major muscle groups. The class is for people of all fitness levels and open to the public. Advanced registration is not required but participants are asked to arrive 10 minutes prior to the…
Saturday, June 30, 2012
There are several neighborhood resources for your family, but mental health experts recommend you contact your primary physician to start.
Boston's families have new tools to deal with mental illness and stress in children, thanks in part to new federal grants. There are numerous mental health resources and services available in Boston, but the first line of prevention is the family's pediatrician, said Debby Allen, Boston Public Health Commission's Director of the Bureau of Child, Adolescent and Family Health. One new program is Project Launch, which is targeted to help very young children, who don’t have serious manifestations of serious illinesses, but are acting up, or in life situations such as being homeless, or instability, such as a having mother suffering from depression. These programs are available at three Boston sites, and employ early childhood clinicians: …
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Even though West Roxbury is not made up of tall buildings, children can still fall out of second- and third-story windows.
“One moment she was there, and the next she was gone,” Jen said with a shocked expression when she saw me in the clinic. Three summers ago, Jen and her 4-year-old daughter, Cara, were relaxing in their second-floor apartment, trying not to sweat in the humid, 85-degrees summer heat. The windows were wide open, but the breeze was warm and did little to cool them off. A quick look out of the window confirmed to Jen that the children laughing and squealing on the sidewalk below were spraying each other with water from a garden hose. The next scream, though, sounded entirely different. It was closer, scared, and sounded like her daughter. By the time Jen turned back to look for Cara, her daughter had fallen through the window down two …
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
There was a dedication for the Bouve College of Health Sciences’ Health and Wellness Van at the Behrakis Health Sciences Center at Northeastern University on April 5.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012
West Roxbury resident Rita Nieves, the Director of Addictions Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Support Services, of the Boston Public Health Commission, was at the Bouve College Health Van ribbon cutting at the Behrakis HealthSciences Center at Northeastern University on April 5.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Policy goes further than any other school district in banning promotion of tobacco products.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Editor's note: The following is press release. Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Carol R. Johnson today kicked off a campaign aimed at informing schools throughout the city of the district’s new Tobacco-Free Environment policy. The district's policy goes further than any other in the Commonwealth in banning the use, consumption, display and promotion of all tobacco products and nicotine delivery devices on school property and within 50 feet of school property by students, parents, staff and visitors. “We have come a long way in educating our students about the dangers of tobacco use,” said Dr. Johnson. “Even though the health dangers are well known today, we know that our students are still susceptible to clever marketing of new…