This Week's Developments:
On Monday, we had the unfortunate duty of announcing an H1N1-related death of a 26 year-old resident who had no known underlying health conditions. The death of a young, healthy individual is a tragic reminder of the seriousness of influenza, and underscores the importance of our planning for the upcoming flu season. So far we've identified nearly 1400 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu, although the actual number of cases is much higher given that only the most serious cases are tested.
The pace of planning on the national, state and local levels is accelerating substantially as we head into the fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week released two helpful toolkits that will assist businesses and colleges and universities in dealing with a myriad of planning issues related to the expected resurgence of H1N1 flu in the coming months.
Both of the toolkits offer concrete steps that these organizations can take to better prepare for flu season.
Earlier today, DPH Commissioner John Auerbach joined Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Dr. Barbara Ferrer at the Boston Public Health Commission's Boston Influenza Preparedness Summit at the Harvard Medical School Campus. More than 500 individuals representing government, public health, health care, schools, businesses, organized labor, faith based organizations, and long-term care facilities came together to hear the latest on flu planning activities in Boston. Attendees also had an opportunity to attend ten different break-out sessions on various topics related to flu response. DPH will host a similar statewide flu response conference later in September.
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
A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community posted on Apr 14
When it comes to our daily commute, we could all use a little inspiration. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to encourage employers in eastern Massachusetts to participate in the 2014 Walk/Ride Corporate Challenge — an annual competition that encourages workers to use …Continue Reading A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community