Health & Wellness

Public Health Advisory- Confirmed West Nile Virus 8/23/14

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported Friday afternoon (8/22) that a person has contracted the West Nile virus in Middlesex County. This is the state’s first human case this year. In the Greater Boston, health officials have found mosquito pools infected with the virus in South Boston, Arlington, Hyde Park, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and Roslindale.

At this time there have been no cases detected in Worcester county, however this is the peak season for possible West Nile virus human infection. Please be vigilant and continue to take steps to protect yourselves against mosquito bites. State health officials are encouraging residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites using repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535. Residents should also avoid going outside at peak biting hours at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and residents should make efforts to remove flower pots and other containers that might collect standing water around the house where infected mosquitoes can breed.

Symptoms of West Nile virus in humans include fever and flu-like symptoms. People with compromised immune systems are most at-risk, including children and the elderly. For more updated information about this and ways to protect yourself please visit the websites listed.


Public Health Advisory 8/6/14

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.

Resources


Flu Shot Clinics

Wednesday October 1
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
QCC Main Campus, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester
Room 107 Administration Building

Thursday October 2
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Healthcare and Workforce Development Center, 25 Federal Street
Worcester Room

FREE with the following insurances including Medicare Part B, PFFS type Medicare Advantage Plans, Aetna, BCBS of MA, Humana, Premera Blue Cross, SummaCare, Connecticare, Connecticare-Medicare VIP, ), Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts Health Plan, Fallon Community Health Plan, MassHealth, GIC Unicare State Indeminty Plan.
Please make sure you bring your insurance card and or method of payment with you.

View the Vaccine Information Statement 2014-2015 Influenza Vaccine Inactivated for more information.


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.

What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Seasonal Influenza

For the 2014-2015 Influenza Season, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2014-2015.htm

CDC Says “Take 3” Actions To Fight The Flu

Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

CDC urges you to take the following actions to protect yourself and others from influenza (the flu):

1.jpgTake time to get a flu vaccine.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the most important step. While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the three most common. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the current season's vaccines are available.

People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older. Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.

2.jpgTake everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you have flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever, except to get medical care or for other necessities. While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

See Everyday Preventive Actions and Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) for more information about actions – apart from getting vaccinated and taking medicine – that people and communities can take to help slow the spread of illnesses like influenza (flu).

3.jpgTake flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

Antiviral drugs, which are different from antibiotics, can treat the flu. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter. These drugs make an illness milder and shorten the time you are sick.

Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health or is very sick from the flu.

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea.

See the CDC's Three-Step Guide for more Information.

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. www.cdc.gov

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.