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.