Friday, January 11, 2013
“Piggy,” a daughter’s new boar-bristle hairbrush, sends my youngest running, shrieking at the thought of its real-animal, scratchy touch. I don’t dare tell her about 2009 and the swine flu….
Mayor Thomas Menino’s declaration of a public health emergency this week reminded me of the last time we took the flu so seriously, during the 2009 pandemic. On an October Saturday that year, my family stood in line for 2-1/2 hours with one Red Sox player, his wife and kids, and dozens of others at our pediatric practice to receive the H1N1 vaccine. At the end of that line lay nasal mist, thankfully, no injections. Because a month before, our children had already received the seasonal vaccine. And they needed another dose of H1N1 spray one month after the first to provide protection. We made three doctor’s visits just for the kids' flu vaccines that year, but I was relieved to do it. The unfortunately named swine flu, which contains genes…
Monday, October 1, 2012
Fifty-seven former patients of Boston Emergency Medical Services have been notified.
More than 60 patients received doses of controlled medications that a former Boston Emergency Medical Service employee may have tampered with during the summer of 2011, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. A Boston EMS paramedic reportedly administered compromised medications to 64 patients during a six-week period in the summer of 2011. Seven patients died soon thereafter as a result of their initial trauma or illness, leaving 57 patients to be notified of the misconduct. Boston EMS’s review of transport records for these patients showed no indication of adverse health outcomes as a result of the medication they received, they said. All 57 patients have been offered free screening for infectious diseases, and the Boston …
Sunday, September 30, 2012
The threat level in Boston remains high.
A fourth case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in a Boston resident, the Boston Public Health Commission announced on Thursday. The man, an East Boston resident in his 40s, was hospitalized but has been released. Earlier this month a woman in her 50s from Beacon Hill, a man in his 40s, from Dorchester and a man in his 50s from Boston were hospitalized with WNV and released. Last month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health elevated the WNV threat level for Boston and several surrounding communities after confirming other human cases of WNV in the region. In Boston, many neighborhoods have had mosquito pools test positive for the virus. Boston public health officials continue to remind residents to take simple precautions to …
Thursday, July 12, 2012
City councilors said public health data being shared between the state and city is often months behind, which hurts identifying public health issues.
Boston health officials want to improve the process used to share health data with the state, saying the current process has a months-long lag that hurts health improvement measures. The Boston City Council on Wednesday supported a measure to improve health data sharing between the city and state. The home rule petition, which would create a streamlined process between the state and the Boston Public Health Commission to share public health data, was originally endorsed by the council in 2011. Massachusetts doesn't have county public health commissions, so the Boston Public Health Commission, which was created in 1996, plays that role. "This streamlines the situation, and make partnerships with the City and state more fluid," said …
Friday, October 7, 2011
But don't panic. The flu is preventable. And although the city's first victim was a man in his 40s, he had underlying health conditions.
Friday, October 7, 2011
A Boston man in his 40s is the first death linked to influenza this year in the city, the Boston Public Health Commission said today. The patient had underlying health conditions. Boston health officials recommend that everyone take the following steps to reduce their risk of illness: