Snow? Let's not forget the flu

Flu on the increase in Boston

ILI="Influenza-like illness." Source: BPHC.

The Boston Public Health Commission reports an increase in flu and flu-like cases over the last few weeks in Boston.

There have been 728 documented influenza cases reported to BPHC, and hundreds of people have visited Emergency Departments for influenza-like illness since October. Additionally, 23% of those cases have resulted in hospitalization, and there have been 4 deaths, the majority of which were individuals with underlying medical conditions. Influenza A (H3N2) accounts for most of the laboratory-confirmed cases in Boston. Neighborhoods with especially high rates of emergency department visits for influenza-like illness include the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park.

The commission says that doesn't mean it's too late to take basic precautions, starting with getting a flu shot, but also including such things as frequent hand washing, covering your face when you sneeze or cough, keep those fingers away from your eyes and mouth and, of course, staying home when you're sick.

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    Im still

    By on

    waiting to die from Swine Flu!

    But look!

    By on

    It's already going down. Maybe we've already gotten through the worst of it?

    Big storms will limit flu transmission

    Big storms limit mobility and interaction. So do school closings (schools being where epidemics tend to work up into community-wide problems).

    When bad weather keeps us all tied down, flu transmission tends to drop. Not sure what the MBTA clusterfuck will do to make transmission more possible, though. That could undo all the good - unless the mess makes people who are starting to get sick stay home.