Posted by Sandra Smole, Ph.D. Sandy is the Director of the Division of Molecular Diagnostics and Virology at the Bureau of Laboratory Sciences.
Did you know, each flu season the State Lab’s Influenza Unit test hundreds of samples sent in from doctor’s offices and health clinics across the state to see if they contain flu virus. The tests they perform allow the scientists at the Lab to know what influenza strains are circulating in Massachusetts and whether or not these strains are covered by the current vaccine. This information is then shared with the CDC who uses this data to help decide what strains will be in next year’s vaccine.
In addition, this information collected by the Lab helps the DPH Immunization Program monitor the flu situation in Massachusetts, help control outbreaks and work to prevent illness and deaths in vulnerable populations. We pay particularly close attention to the situation in hospitals, nursing homes and other long term care facilities, where flu can be especially contagious and dangerous.
For more information about the flu, visit www.mass.gov/flu
Super Bowl Picnic! posted on Jan 26
Our much-beloved New England Patriots are contending for the Super Bowl this Sunday! And the big questions are…who will you watch the game with? What will the best commercial be? And, let’s face it—what goodies are we going to eat? Back in the days before …Continue Reading Super Bowl Picnic!
Weekly Flu Report, January 23, 2015 posted on Jan 23
The latest weekly flu report shows an increase in rates of flu-like illness during the past seven days. Flu season is certainly here in New England – but there are some simple, common-sense steps that you can take to keep from getting or spreading the …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 23, 2015
Weekly Flu Report, January 16, 2015 posted on Jan 16
The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decline in rates of flu-like illness over the past seven days. But flu is unpredictable, and we know from past years that flu season won’t likely peak in Massachusetts until February or March – so there’s still …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 16, 2015