January 9, 2013
Surging influenza infections has led Boston to declare a public health
emergency Wednesday. Massachusetts has reported 18 flu-related deaths so
Frederica Williams, president of the Whittier Street Health Center in
Boston's inner-city Roxbury neighborhood, said her facility had opened a
special flu clinic and was using social media and sending letters to
residents urging them to come in and get flu shots.
"We serve a
vulnerable population that is at risk for all kinds of health issues, so
we put out a broadcast to our patients even before the mayor made the
(emergency) announcement because we saw an increase in the number of
people coming to our clinic for services."
Baystate Health, which operates Baystate Medical Center in
Springfield and two other hospitals in western Massachusetts, announced
Wednesday that it was changing its visitor policy. The hospitals will no
longer allow visitors younger than 14 and are recommending no more than
two people visit a patient at one time.
"This is the worst in
several years," said Dr. Sarah Haessler, an infectious disease
specialist at Baystate. She said the flu outbreak has strained the
hospital's resources and helped to fill its beds to capacity.
Full Article: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57563097/flu-surge-leads-to-boston-public-health-emergency/