BOSTON, Mass. (WGGB/AP) – State public health officials are reporting 18 flu-related deaths in Massachusetts already this season and the city of Boston has declared a public health emergency.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says the state is one of many reporting above average flu hospitalization rates.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned of a harsh flu season, which usually peaks in midwinter.
Kevin Cranston, Director of the state’s Bureau of Infectious Disease, told The Boston Globe Wednesday that this year’s flu season is on track to be “moderately severe.”
Cranston is urging people to get vaccinated because scientists have found that 91 percent of the viruses tested are “well-matched” to the vaccine, the paper adds.
“It’s never too late to vaccinate,” Crantson told reporters.
Meanwhile, the paper reports that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has declared a public health emergency after his city has seen 700 confirmed cases of the flu and four flu-related deaths.
Information from Associated Press reporter Bob Salsberg was used in this report.