NorthEndWaterfront.com reports that for the second time, Gov. Patrick has vetoed a bill to override a city public-health ordinance that will force cigar and hookah bars to shut down by 2018.
The proposed law was co-sponsored by state Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, D-North End, whose district includes the Stanza dei Sigari cigar bar on Hanover Street.
The Boston Public Health Commission reports the year's first detection of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus, in West Roxbury. No human cases have yet been diagnosed.
The disease generally poses little threat to people with healthy immune systems, but officials say people should take the usual steps - use insect repellent outdoors, especially dusk to dawn, and wear pants and tops with long sleeves. Also, empty those gutters, get rid of old tires and turn over all those old flower pots. The city has started applying larvacide to its catch basins.
Alcohol-related visits to local emergency rooms spike whenever Boston teams win championships and have parades, but effective public-safety oversight means we don't experience the same sort of "horrendous" violence other cities experience when they win, the Boston Public Health Commission reports.
The commission says it compiled ER stats from Boston championship runs dating back to 2004, and including this month's Bruins' championship:
A Vermont teenager who volunteered at the New England Aquarium is Boston's latest measles patient, the Boston Public Health Commission reports.
The commission says anybody who worked at or visited the aquarium's main building after noon on May 19 or 22 and who isn't sure of their measles immunity status, should stay away from the public until June 9 or June 12, depending on which day. Although measles usually shows up 10 to 12 days after exposure, it can take up to three weeks to develop.
Early symptoms of the highly contagious disease can include a high fever, runny nose, cough, and red, watery eyes. A skin rash usually occurs two to four days later and begins on the face but soon spreads to other parts of the body.
The Boston Public Health Commission says one of the five victims worked at South Station while contagious.
The commission says it hasn't found a link so far between the five cases, one involving a Boston resident, the other four among people who either work here, visited here or sought medical treatment for symptoms here. Their ages range between 16 months and 65 years.
Measles is highly contagious and spread through the air. People who have gotten two MMR shots or have had a blood test confirming their immunity do not have to worry, the commission says; everybody else should either consider a shot and monitor themselves for symptoms, which can include a high fever, runny nose, cough and red, watery eyes, followed two to four days later by the classic red rash that starts on the face and then spreads across the body.
Attorney General Martha Coakley is blasting Pabst Brewing for a new line of fruity malt liquors that contain the alcohol equivalent of five beers in just one can.
At a time when we're fighting to prevent underage drinking and binge drinking, we are urging Pabst to rethink the dangers posed by Blast. We also believe the promotion of this 'binge-in-a-can' is aimed at the youngest of drinkers as well as underage youth.
Coakley, along with 18 other attorneys general, are denouncing launch parties sometimes billed as 18+, along with the colorful packaging, the hiring of Snoop Dogg to shill for the stuff and the use of youth-oriented social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.
The state Department of Public Health has launched a campaign to oppose sales of "cheap smokeless and candy-flavored tobacco products" aimed at teens and young adults.
Oppose is looking for volunteers to try to get their local retailers to hide the products away if they won't just stop selling them. And it's using social media to get the word out, via Twitter and Facebook.
Boston Police report the arrest of 12 City Hall workers on charges they smuggled scores of cases of Mountain Dew and Red Bull into the building - where they allegedly sold individual bottles and cans for as much as $5 a pop.
OK, today's news today: Mayor Menino Issues Order to End Sugary Drink Sales on City Property:
Citing a link between the consumption of sugary beverages and rising obesity rates and healthcare costs, Mayor Thomas M. Menino today issued an executive order requiring City departments to take steps in the next six months to phase out the sale, advertising, and promotion of sugary beverages on City-owned property.
Good news for sugar fans: Sales of sweetened soymilk will still be allowed.
The Boston Public Health Commission says it's focusing its vaccination efforts on people who worked in the same building as a French consulate worker diagnosed with measles - but says anybody who has any concerns should check with their physician to see if their vaccinations are up to date.
Christian Nielsen, a spokesman for the commission, said investigators there don't even know for sure which subway lines the woman rode and added she was last on the T long enough ago that the risk is relatively remote.
"We are focusing on areas that we are certain that the patient frequented while [she was] contagious," he said. That includes the Park Square Building and some health centers, including the Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury.
Nielsen said the MMR vaccine is cheap and safe and can be administered to anybody except pregnant women and babies under 12 months.
The Globe reports the Boston Public Health Commission is urging up to 2,000 people who work in the Park Square Building to get vaccinated after an unvaccinated worker at the French Consulate there was diagnosed. She also rode the subway while sick, although the Globe doesn't specify which line.
The Boston Public Health Commission voted today to require annual licensing and regular inspections of the city's nail salons.
The new regulation is meant to reduce the odds of customers catching bacterial and fungal infections from improperly sanitized equipment, but especially to protect the health of salon workers, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the commission's executive director:
Every year for the past three years, more than 900 college students have wound up in the ER with alcohol-related issues, according to the Boston Public Health Commission.
Commission Director Barbara Ferrer called the numbers alarming:
Channel 4 reports the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission will file regulations this Friday to ban Four Loko and other blackout-in-a-can drinks that combine booze and caffeine. No word if it will attempt to ban rum and cokes or Irish coffee. The news comes the same day as two Boston city councilors said they wanted a hearing into possible actions against Four Loko.
The Boston Public Health Commission reports a cat in the Mascot Street area tested positive for the potentially fatal disease.
In addition to the six people now receiving shots, the commission urges anybody who came into contact with a roughly 10-year-old orange cat there between Oct. 2 and 17 - or whose own pet tangled with the cat - to call 617-534-5611.
Public health officials say the case shows the importance of updating pet rabies shots - and of avoiding contact with wild animals:
Avoid any animal that is acting strange or sick. Do not keep wild animals as pets, touch, or pick up any dead animal. Do not attract wild animals to your house by feeding pets outside or leaving garbage cans open.
For more information about rabies, contact the Infectious Disease Bureau at 617-534-5611.
The Boston Public Health Commmission reports a raccoon found in Jamaica Plain on Sunday has tested positive for rabies and that a person exposed to the animal is now receiving rabies shots.
The commission plans to distribute leaflets in the neighborhood warning residents about the issue and telling them what to do if they think they've come in contact with a rabid animal. Basically: Stay away from wildlife, make sure your pets' vaccinations are up to date, and beware of bats in your house.
Questions? Contact the commission's Infectious Disease Bureau at 617-534-5611.
Boston Zest updates us with the latest Massachusetts flu-shot info (for starters, just one shot this year).
The Boston Public Health Commission announced today it's found West-Nile-laden mosquitoes in East Boston, Fenway, Roslindale, West Roxbury and Dorchester. This is in addition to an earlier announcement about germ-infested biters in Hyde Park. So spray an extra dollop of DEET before you go out between dusk and dawn. And get those damn tires out of your driveway.
The state reports the first detection of the year of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes, from a trap in Halifax on June 30:
While WNV can infect people of all ages, people older than 50 are at higher risk for severe disease.
The Boston Public Health Commission reports the city's won more than $12 million in two federal stimulus grants to combat obesity and smoking.
In addition to ad campaigns and public-health measures, the money will also let the city hire 50 fulltime outreach workers and 50 students over the two-year length of the grant.
The commission says roughly half the money will go to a variety of anti-fat campaigns, including "counter-advertising" against sugar-laced beverages, promote bike-sharing and community gardening programs and figure out how to increase phys-ed activities in Boston schools (Ed. note: Good luck with that in all the 1930s-era schools without gyms).
The other half will go toward anti-smoking programs, including efforts to limit areas available for smoking and to increase cigarette prices and to ramp up the number of smoking-cessation services available to Boston residents. The commission says it also hopes to "create 1,000 smoke-free residences in Boston."
The commission's just set up an e-mail/text alert system to keep you up to the minute on the spread of flu across the city. You'll have to choose which group you belong to (from "businesses" to "residents").
The commission also has a set of downloadable posters that are just the thing for taping to lunchroom/bathroom walls about how to reduce flu transmission (such as sneezing into your sleeve instead of onto co-workers).
The Institute for Health Policy at The Massachusetts General Hospital is interested in how people are getting information about swine flu - and how you're dealing with the news. Take a ten-minute survey.
The Boston Public Health Commission made the announcement tonight:
As a precautionary measure, the Public Health Commission has closed the Harvard Dental Center until the extent of the illness can be determined. Public health officials also have requested the cancellation of classes for all third- and fourth-year and post-doctoral dental students. Those students, their faculty, and staff are urged to stay at home, pending the results of the ongoing investigation. University officials are fully cooperating with state and local health investigators.
Separately, the university announced that it would take the additional step of closing both the dental school and the dental clinic on Friday, May 1, as a precaution.
People who are experiencing symptoms of possible influenza, including sudden fever, cough, muscle aches, and sore throat should contact their healthcare provider for additional guidance.
Dr. Anita Barry, director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission, talks about, well, you know:
I know that to some this post will be alarmist, even silly, and -- thankfully at this juncture -- unrelated to Boston, but the flu outbreak in Mexico that shows signs of spreading into the Western and Southwestern states has grabbed my attention.
If you haven't caught the news: boston.com...mexico_struggles_to_contain_swine_flu_outbreak/