public health

By - 4/26/16 - 6:41 pm

The City Council tomorrow considers a proposal from Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) for a hearing on barring research that involves "aerosolizing" pathogens not currently native to Boston - such as Ebola - at least until after scientists across the country have been able to figure out how to really keep us safe from inadvertent releases from laboratories. Read more.

By - 4/26/16 - 6:26 am

The Crimson reports, quotes the head of health services as saying he's more concerned than ever now, and that he blames irresponsible students for the continuing spread.

By - 3/25/16 - 9:00 am

The Crimson reports a total of 16 confirmed mumps cases at Harvard, with some cases now also reported at Tufts and BU.

By - 3/23/16 - 9:05 am

Worcester Magazine recaps yesterday's Worcester City Council meeting, which included some in-your-face'ing towards Boston because the Worcester Public Health Division is the first in the state to receive accreditation by a national public-health accrediting board:

Toomey: I know everybody wants to say congratulations to a world-class team from a world-class city.

Rosen: This is yuuge. I heard the Boston City Council met last week, and with over 1,000 employees - we have 23 - they have a huge budget, we have a small budget – and they tried to get this, and couldn’t. Boston is envious of the city of Worcester, as they should be.

By - 3/18/16 - 9:50 am

Mass. General's Center for Global Health is hosting a hackathon next month to try to develop products and techniques to slow the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus:

Attention designers, engineers, clinicians and all innovators! We need your knowledge and expertise for a 48-hour hack-a-thon to create new product concepts, design novel personal protective equipment and develop new methods for local vector control that will help bend the curve of the Zika epidemic and similar outbreaks.

By - 3/3/16 - 8:07 am

In addition to the six cases confirmed as mumps, Harvard has another 14 suspected cases of the viral infection, according to Dr. Philip Lederer, who adds:

The six confirmed cases have documentation of two doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, and the majority of the suspected cases are believed to have had two doses of MMR.

By - 3/2/16 - 6:07 pm

Harvard now has a total of six mumps cases, the university reported in a memo to the campus community. Read more.

By - 2/29/16 - 10:29 pm

Harvard University alerted students and staffers tonight that an undergraduate student and a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School have confirmed cases of mumps.

In a memo, Dr. Paul J. Barreira, director of Harvard University Health Services, said the school is working with city and state public-health officials "to identify the cause and scope of the infection." Read more.

By - 2/20/16 - 9:57 am

The Globe reports on the vaccination campaign against meningococcemia, which has struck three homeless people, killing one. Dr. Philip Lederer has more.

By - 12/17/15 - 8:45 pm

The Boston Board of Health voted today to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco in the city from 18 to 21. That includes e-cigarettes.

By - 12/11/15 - 6:34 am

The Daily Free Press reports on the misfortunes of a BU grad student who ventured to Cleveland Circle for some chicken tacos and tortilla chips at the now shuttered Chipotle last weekend.

By - 12/9/15 - 4:15 pm

Boston College's University Health Services reports:

More than 120 BC students have reported to BC Health Services with symptoms consistent with the Norovirus. Nearly all cases are related to students who ate at the Chipotle restaurant in Cleveland Circle during the past weekend.

In response to the spread of the virus, BC has taken several steps, including shutting down all on-campus salad bars and other self-service food offerings.

The Boston Public Health Commission reported yesterday that several people not affiliated with BC also show symptoms of the illness. City inspectors shut the burrito place in part because a sick employee was allowed to continue on the job.

By - 12/8/15 - 2:54 pm

UPDATE: It's norovirus, Boston Public Health Commission reports

When news broke of an apparent foodborne illness striking down BC students who ate at the Cleveland Circle Chipotle, the chain issued a press release that made it sound like it had closed the outlet voluntarily.

In fact, Boston health inspectors ordered the place shut yesterday, both because of those ailments and for two other key reasons:

"There was an employee that was sick during their shift on Thursday."

"Chicken on the service line is 128F and steak is 124F. Provide proper hot holding of 140F or above."

Public-health official say that there have been 65 cases so far - some among people not affiliated with BC.

By - 11/18/15 - 4:00 pm

That includes the new vaping stuff, Walsh said today:

We know the consequences of tobacco use are real and can be devastating. These proposed changes send a strong message that Boston takes the issue of preventing tobacco addiction seriously, and I hope that message is heard throughout Boston and across the entire country.

The Boston Public Health Commission will hold a public hearing on Dec. 3 and then vote on Dec. 17.

By - 11/16/15 - 7:22 am

WBUR posts statistics from Boston EMS about responses to drug overdoses in the city - with the odd fact that most overdose deaths happen between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

By - 10/7/15 - 2:23 pm

Flu-fighting staffers at Beth Israel get down to this. sick. beat.

H/t Nick McNulty.

By - 10/7/15 - 12:48 pm

A resident cleaning up leaves at the Langone Park bocce courts had to spend a night at Mass. General after being pricked by a discarded needle Monday evening, City Councilor Sal LaMattina (North End, East Boston, Charlestown) said today. Read more.

By - 9/3/15 - 10:29 am

The City Council yesterday approved an ordinance banning the use of smokeless tobacco at all professional and amateur sports venues in the city. The measure needs the signature of Mayor Walsh, but since he originally proposed it, he'll probably sign it.

At-large City Councilor Michael Flaherty said the measure is a step towards helping young people avoid oral cancer and other problems the stuff can cause.

By - 8/24/15 - 7:47 pm

City and state health officials warned today that Scarboro Pond in Franklin Park appears to be experiencing a bloom of blue-green algae and are warning visitors to stay well away from the water - and to keep their dogs away as well. Read more.

By - 8/12/15 - 5:07 pm
McCarthy

City Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale) thinks local schools need to educate students on what to do if they find syringes, needles and similar implements in public spaces.

McCarthy's district includes Readville, where a 7-year-old girl was pricked by a discarded needle at Iacono Playground last month. Read more.