Based on the MDPH Weekly Flu Report dated February 16th, 2018, Influenza-like illness activity (ILI) is continuing to trend upward with a slight increase reported over the seven days prior to February 16th. The percentage of ILI visits reported by sentinel provider sites is at 5.55%, a trend substantially higher than the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 flu seasons.
The Metro Boston/Metro West area is still experiencing high ILI activity levels with Massachusetts Sentinel Sites reporting 6.01% in the Metro West area and 2.97% in the Metro Boston area. Type A flu continues to make up the majority of the laboratory-confirmed cases across the state.
Laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations in Massachusetts also remain high at 56.52.
John Jacob, a health communication writer and editor for the Mass Public Health Blog, in the article titled: Weekly Flu Report, February 16, 2018 is encouraging those who have not received flu shots yet, to do so. The article encourages people to contact their healthcare providers or visit https://vaccinefinder.org/ to obtain a flu vaccine.
This notice is from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Catherine M. Brown, dvm, msc, mph
Deputy State Epidemiologist and State Public Health Veterinarian
To our partners in healthcare and public health-
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has updated its guidance around testing of pregnant women potentially exposed to Zika in response to new information published by CDC. The MDPH recommendations are in-line with CDC guidance and continue to recommend appropriately timed testing for symptomatic pregnant patients. Testing of asymptomatic pregnant patients should be considered and can be requested through commercial laboratories where Zika virus testing is now widely available. There is a continued strong recommendation around complete evaluation of infants born to mothers with potential Zika virus exposure during pregnancy, regardless of the mother’s laboratory testing status. Zika virus laboratory test interpretation remains complex as are questions around timing of conception following potential exposure and recommended duration of condom use to prevent sexual transmission. MDPH epidemiology staff are available 24/7 at 617-983-6800 to assist with interpretation and decision-making as needed.
Attached please find the updated guidance which will also be available shortly on our website at www.mass.gov/zika.