May 20, 2013
Flu Rears Its Ugly, Epidemic Head
Posted on Jan 10, 2013
Flu is leading the winter sickness season as three trends stand out: The illness is striking early, a new norovirus is surging and health care professionals are witnessing the worst whooping cough outbreak in 60 years.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino on Wednesday declared a public health emergency amid a rush of flu patients to hospital emergency rooms in his city.
“Google’s national flu trend maps, which track flu-related searches, are almost solid red (for ‘intense activity’) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly FluView maps, which track confirmed cases, are nearly solid brown (for ‘widespread activity’),” The New York Times reported.
“Yesterday, I saw a construction worker, a big strong guy in his Carhartts who looked like he could fall off a roof without noticing it,” Dr. Beth Zeeman, an emergency room doctor at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., told the Times. “He was in a fetal position with fever and chills, like a wet rag. When I see one of those cases, I just tighten up my mask a little.”
Experts are urging those who haven’t yet received their shots to get them immediately. People who have their doubts about the safety of vaccination should read this recent article by Eula Biss in Harper’s Magazine, which debunks common myths surrounding the issue.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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