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, January 13, 2017 posted on Jan 13
The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decrease in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past 7 days. But flu can be unpredictable, and we’re not likely to see the peak of flu season until February or even March. So if you haven’t gotten a …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 13, 2017
Highlights of the January 11th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Jan 11
The first monthly PHC meeting of 2017 featured one Determination of Need (DoN) request, votes on two final amendments to regulations, and an informational briefing on proposed guidelines associated with the Determination of Need program. First, the Council took up a DoN application from Baystate Medical …Continue Reading Highlights of the January 11th Public Health Council Meeting
Tackling Your New Year’s Resolutions! posted on Jan 9
It’s January. And I can tell…not from the wintry weather or the after-Christmas sales…but from the number of prospective members I see getting tours of the gym while I’m trying to fit in my (less frequent than I’d like) workout. January 1st marks the start …Continue Reading Tackling Your New Year’s Resolutions!