It's been another busy week of planning for the fall flu season, and the expected return of H1N1 (swine) flu in the state. On Tuesday, there was considerable media attention on a report put out by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The report indicated that H1N1 could, in a worst case scenario, cause as many as 90,000 deaths in the U.S. this flu season. A New York Times article, however, showed that there was considerable disagreement in some quarters as to whether that estimate may be overly pessimistic.
There's no way to tell what we'll see this fall, but we do know that there are simple, easy ways that we can protect ourselves from getting or spreading the flu, whether seasonal or H1N1 (swine).
Get vaccinated. Seasonal flu vaccine should be arriving in the state by mid-September, and initial shipments of H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine should get here starting in mid-October (with more supplies coming steadily after that).
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cough or sneeze into a tissue, or into your inner elbow if a tissue isn't handy.
If you're sick then please stay home from school or work.
Finally, stay informed as flu season gets underway. For instance, next week parents of school-age children will be receiving a packet of informational materials from their child's school on how to keep themselves and their families healthy during flu season, and what to do if their child gets sick. And of course, we'll continue to update this blog whenever new information becomes available — so check back often.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014