Friday, October 12, 2018
Today is the start of the state’s flu surveillance monitoring and reporting for the 2018-2019 season. Already, since the start of September, Massachusetts has had nearly 80 lab-confirmed flu cases reported, well within the expected range for this time of year.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials are recommending that everyone take steps to prevent the spread of flu by getting vaccinated.
DPH recommends that you:
- Get the flu vaccine as soon as possible.
- Wash hands thoroughly, use hand sanitizer when washing is not possible.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Stay home when sick with fever and cough or sore throat, and keep children home from school and daycare when sick.
- Contact a healthcare provider promptly if you think that you have the flu.
Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu-associated death by half among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds among healthy children. Nationwide, there were 180 pediatric deaths from the flu last year and approximately 80 percent of those who died did not receive a flu vaccine.
Flu vaccine is available across the state at multiple locations, including health care provider offices, pharmacies, school and workplace vaccination clinics, and flu vaccine clinics sponsored by local boards of health. A list of flu vaccine availability based on zip code can be found at https://vaccinefinder.org/.