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
Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA posted on Apr 23
Registration for the 19th Annual Massachusetts Adult Immunization Conference is open! This event, to be held May 20, 2014 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA attracts professionals from local public health organizations, long-term-care facilities, pharmacies, college health, hospitals, physician practices, community health centers, employers, health …Continue Reading Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA
Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse