Public health emergency declared in Boston over flu
City public health commissioner weighs in
- Duration 3:59
- Date Jan 10, 2013
City public health commissioner weighs in
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Well right now the flu as a big story in this country the virus is deadly and it's spreading quickly 44 states now reporting widespread illness.
Hospitals and Ohio and Pennsylvania are expanding their emergency room to deal with.
The number of patients -- they're getting and that's not enough in some areas in fact in Chicago.
And Milwaukee hospitals are turning away ambulances because.
They simply don't have room for any more patients extra doctors are being called then that they haven't been able to save everyone in fact.
Among the victims are seven people dead in Indiana.
And a fourteen year old to -- in Minnesota.
Massachusetts is -- getting hit hard this state reporting at least eighteen deaths in the city of Boston has declared.
A public health emergency today.
This city setting up emergency sites -- people can get flu shots free of charge joining us now doctor Barbara for air she's -- health commissioner and doctor for -- Just for some perspective how does.
How does this season compare.
To previous years how bad is it really.
So this is really the worst epidemic we've had since 2009.
With the novel.
H1N1 virus and for comparison purposes last flu season.
For the entire flu season in Boston hit seventy.
Confirmed cases this year and we're not even halfway through our flu season.
We have 700.
Confirmed cases and -- -- have seen four deaths.
Our emergency rooms are swamped with people with influenza like illness as our doctors' offices.
And we mentioned the free clinics for the vaccines.
How effective it does it -- went this vaccine this season has been to preventing.
The flu in your your particular city.
I you know the vaccine is the best tool we have to prevent influenza.
And you don't really know until the end of the season the effectiveness the actual effectiveness rate for this particular vaccine.
But we know it's a good match with the strains that are circulating.
And that and the one thing we're really encouraging people to do is you know there's plenty of time to still get vaccinated.
In this city between Saturday and speaking Friday and Sunday will actually have.
Fifteen free clinics in the neighborhoods where people can go to get vaccinated at no charge.
Had had -- been able to stay healthy this season doctor.
I got my flu shot then that's it that's yeah.
I hit how I got live without it I have stayed healthy and -- -- wanted to reassure -- -- the safe vaccine and even you know when people say well you know I got vaccinated and then I got sick you know there's there's lots of different reasons that can explain that.
You know most commonly we see that.
People do get sick but they don't necessarily get sick with flu than they get sick with some other virus are very bad cold.
But they're not necessarily sick with flu so you know -- the most important thing we can tell the general public to reassure them as.
No there this is a preventable disease so please take precautions.
Get a flu shot and if you're sick -- any thing.
You need to stay home and it it sounds like he's -- -- some good advice is real quick here because we've mentioned the state of emergency and that's rare.
You know for something like that's what's the next step if you continue to see things get worse before they get better what what else can do.
I I think that the state of emergency -- allowed us to mobilize both all of our public resources and our private resources.
With a sense of urgency and not very optimistic you know we know if we can get.
People to take precautions and to get vaccinated.
We will in fact dampen the epidemic in the city of Boston and that's the most important thing.
You know to make sure that we prevent as many cases as possible.
And that the second most important thing is if people are sick that they get the help that they need.
As we encourage people if they're sick and they're not feeling well to contact their primary care provider.
And find out what else they can do to protect themselves and protect their family but -- -- -- very busy we appreciate the time we wish you luck and and health of course.
In this near as thank you very much thank you -- I -- yesterday.