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
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014
Make Toy Safety a Priority This Holiday! posted on Dec 8
Finding the absolute perfect gift is one of the joyful pleasures of the holiday season. Nothing can beat witnessing the smiles and excitement of children as they unwrap their toys. We want toys that will truly impress the little ones. Yet, as we begin our …Continue Reading Make Toy Safety a Priority This Holiday!