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Department of Health Offers Advice for High Flu Season

The Red Cross says that flue outbreaks are earlier than normal in the area.

Flu season is upon us.

Alan Balsam, Director of Public Health and Human Services, said that there have been 37 confirmed cases of influenza in Brookline. “I imagine there are more than just 37 people with the flu, but usually people fight it on their own. These cases are the ones that have been reported and people have been seen by doctors.”

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared a health emergency due to Boston's flu outbreak.

There were over 700 reported cases in the city this flu season, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. That's 10 times the average number of cases last year, according to WBUR.

For Brookline, 37 cases is higher than normal, almost double the numbers from last year, but Balsam said it is “nothing to panic over.”

Balsam said that elderly people, infants and people with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to influenza.

“We are recommending that youngsters in the school stay home until 24 hours after their fever breaks if they have flu-like symptoms,” Balsam said. “We also recommend that if you’re not feeling well or feeling flu symptoms, you should stay home from work or school.”

Balsam said that there are vaccines available at the Department of Health and that people should get the vaccine if they haven't because they predict that the season won't peak for several weeks. 

Here is the information page from the Red Cross on the flu. 

Here is the Department of Health’s web page with more information on vaccines and the Clean Hands for Good Health program.

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