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 …
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
CVS pharmacies across Boston are out of flu shots.
This year's flu has already ushered in a public health emergency and caused five deaths in Boston. And after city officials urged residents to get flu shots this past weekend, there is now a flu shot shortage. But one local pharmacy in West Roxbury still had a good amount of flu shots as of Monday afternoon. The Osco Pharmacy inside Shaw's at 75 Spring Street had flu shots. The pharmacist would not say how much, but they had "enough." The CVS at 1921 Centre St., in West Roxbury, was out of flu shots and a pharmacist there said they hoped to have more on Thursday, but wasn't counting on it. A Back Bay CVS pharmacist said that Boston branches are out of the vaccine and were hoping to have more soon.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
City health officials want "thousands" to get vaccinated this weekend.
Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston health officials are asking residents of all ages to get flu vaccinations this weekend, during a series of free clinics set up to battle what Menino declared as a “public health emergency.” During a press conference held Wednesday afternoon at Parkman House on Beacon Hill, Menino urged residents to protect themselves against “an increasingly tough flu season” by getting vaccinated. “We are less than halfway through the flu season, but Boston has already seen about 700 confirmed cases of the flu since Oct. 1. That’s 10 times the amount of total cases we saw all of last year,” Menion said. “Today, we are announcing that this weekend in partnership with our community health centers, we will be offering free …
Boston's seen a ten-fold increase in flu cases over last year.
Mayor Thomas Menino declared a health emergency due to Boston's flu outbreak. There were over 700 reported cases in the city this flu season, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. That's 10 times the average number of cases last year, according to WBUR. Fortunately, there's plenty of vaccine to go around this year, and the mayor's office recommends everyone get the shot. The city website has a calendar of free flu vaccine clinics. They also have a page devoted to flu information and prevention tips. You can also use the widget above to find flu shots at pharmacies, clinics and other locations near you. The Red Cross offers several tips to reduce your exposure to the flu, like washing your hands often, coughing and sneezing …
Outbreaks are earlier than normal in the area.
Wednesday, January 9
The Red Cross said there's still time for folks to get flu shots and be covered from what is considered to be a more active flu season. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said flu outbreaks are high for this time of the season, with "widespread activity" in Massachusetts. How do you prevent the flu? According to the CDC, in addition to getting the vaccine, you can: How do you know if you have the virus? Symptoms include: high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea (which is more common in children). When should you call the doctor? According to the Red Cross, if you think you have the flu, your doctor should be consulted immediately if you …