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 9, 2016 posted on Dec 9
The latest weekly flu report indicates that rates of flu-like illness dropped slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts. But flu season in New England doesn’t peak until well after the New Year, so there is still plenty of reason to get a flu shot if …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 9, 2016
It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Vaccine! posted on Dec 5
As the busy schedule of the holiday season approaches, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine if you have not gotten vaccinated yet. A flu vaccine can protect you and your loved ones. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get …Continue Reading It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Vaccine!
Weekly Flu Report, December 2, 2016 posted on Dec 2
The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness rose slightly in the past seven days in Massachusetts. Still, it’s safe to say that flu season has yet to really kick in – which means there is still time to protect yourself and your family …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 2, 2016