The flu outbreak nationwide has turned in a dangerous direction in Boston. Thomas Menino the Boston Mayor has declared the city under a state of emergency. In the last few weeks, 18 people in the state of Massachusetts have lost their lives after coming down with the flu.
Massachusetts General Hospital is restricting visitors in some sections of the hospital such as on the OB-GYN floors as to protect some of the most vulnerable patients in the hospital.
The hospital is also asking its staff to wear masks while working. Forty-one states in the U.S. currently are seeing flu outbreaks of intense amounts nearly five weeks prior to when they usually start.
The flu season has hit the area of Boston harshly, as the city has already had over 700 cases of influenza since the beginning of October, along with four deaths related to the flu. The hospital has many new cases of flu it is dealing with and said this has become the biggest surge of flu in Boston in over five years.
There have been 600 more patients this past December compared to December of 2011. Scientists have just discovered that the vaccine for this flu season is not protecting those who have received it against a particular strain called Influenza B.
However, doctors said the vaccination is still the best way to defend against the flu. Medical caregivers are telling people it is still not too late to be vaccinated against the flu and are strongly encouraging those who have not received their flu shot to have one soon.
The Mayor of Boston said that free flu clinics are available in the city on Thursday January 10.