Health & Wellness

DPH Zika Virus Advisory Updated 2-5-16

​Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus (in the same family as yellow fever, dengue and West Nile viruses) previously found largely in Africa and Southeast Asia. In 2007, it was found for the first time on the Pacific island of Yap and subsequently in French Polynesia. In May 2015, the World Health Organization reported the first local transmission of Zika virus in the Western Hemisphere, with locally acquired cases identified in Brazil. As of January 15, 2016, local transmission had been identified in at least 14 countries or territories in the Americas, including Puerto Rico (See for information on current countries and territories in the Americas with Zika virus transmission). Further spread to other countries in the region is likely.

An estimated 80% of persons infected with Zika virus are asymptomatic. In symptomatic infection, the incubation period is 3-12 days. Symptomatic disease is generally mild and characterized by at least two of the following:

  • acute onset of fever,
  • maculopapular rash,
  • arthralgia, and/or
  • nonpurulent conjunctivitis.

Read the full official CDC Health Advisory


Public Health Advisory

The City of Worcester Division of Public Health is concerned about an increase in deaths related to opiate overdoses in recent days. Preliminary testing indicates that contaminated heroin may be available on the streets. If you witness a suspected drug overdose please call 9-1-1 immediately.


What You Should Know for the 2015-2016 Seasonal Influenza

It’s not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. Flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another.

Please visit for more information about the 2015-2016 Influenza Season,

What kind of vaccines are available in the United States for 2015-2016?

A number of different private sector vaccine manufacturers produce flu vaccine for use in the United States. This season both trivalent (three component) and quadrivalent (four component) influenza vaccines will be available. Different routes of administration are available for flu vaccines, including intramuscular, intradermal, jet injector and nasal spray vaccine.

Visit CDC’s website to find out what to do if you get sick with the flu and how to care for someone at home who is sick with the flu.

Important note: This website is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care, only a supplement to it. If you believe you have a medical problem, please contact your family doctor or physician.