This Week's Developments:
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced the deaths of a 53-year-old Essex County resident, a 20-year-old Norfolk County resident and a 21-year-old Hampden County resident all related to H1N1. All 3 residents had underlying health conditions that placed them at greater risk of complications from the flu. This brings the total number of deaths related to H1N1 in Massachusetts to 10.
These deaths are a tragic reminder of how serious flu can be for some people. Each year, seasonal influenza causes 250,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths nationally. Certain groups of people are at higher risk of complications from the flu. These groups include: children under the age of 2, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. These people should call their doctor immediately to discuss appropriate treatment if they develop a fever with a cough, sore throat or runny nose.
Simple Precautions to Help Stop the Spread of Flu Include:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your cough with a tissue or cough into your inner elbow and not into your hands.
- If you are sick stay home from work and if your child is sick keep them home for 7 days, or 24 hours after your symptoms go away—whichever is longer.
- Stay informed about the latest developments on the H1N1 flu, by visiting www.mass.gov/dph.
Also this week a board of CDC advisors made recommendations on the use of H1N1 vaccine when it is developed and deemed safe for use. The CDC held a media briefing during which they discussed the recommendations. You can listen to the briefing by clicking the player below.
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