WORCESTER – There are two things that Dr. Robert W. Finberg will not predict this weekend: the result of the New England Patriots game on Sunday night and when the flu season ends in Massachusetts.
One thing, dr. Finberg, president of the UMass Memorial Center's Department of Medicine, is convinced that the Commonwealth flu outbreak has reached "epidemic" (or "widespread," as the State Department of Public Health puts it). Massachusetts is one of 13 states where influenza is prevalent, he said.
The number of flu-like illnesses in Massachusetts has dropped slightly in the past seven days, according to the latest US Department of Health Weekly Influenza Report. However, the flu season is far from over.
"We are still in an influenza epidemic. Yes. There is no question that this is an influenza epidemic. " Finberg. "Flu is prevalent throughout Massachusetts."
According to statistics from the US Department of Health, influenza cases in the state rose from 3,1
UMass in Worcester saw four cases in the first week of December; nine cases in the second week of December; 13 in the third week of December; 29 in the fourth week of December; and 56 in the last week of December; 56 in the first week of January; and 48 in the second week of January. Most cases in UMass are the H1N1 strain, Finberg said.
"Every year we get the flu. We expect that every year. We can meddle up to some extent with a vaccine and we would encourage people to get a flu shot because it has a protective effect, "said Drs. Finberg. "Unfortunately, the virus can change from year to year. And that's why we expect it. We will experience such a widespread flu every winter. And probably it will happen next year. "
If you did not hear that many people were struggling with the flu, Dr. Finberg: "Part of the reasons for that is that, by and large, the cause of death is the elderly and, by and large, secondary infections. What happens is that they get the flu, and then they get pneumonia, which is usually a bacterium and very young. In most cases, these are very young and very old people because they do not have good immunity. "
If you do not want to catch it, Dr. Finberg to regularly wash their hands and stay away from illness people and a flu shot.
Despite the variability of the flu vaccine, which fluctuates from year to year (as the virus changes from year to year), Drs. Finberg people still get the flu shot. [19659002"EsisteinederletztenPlagenderMenschheit"sagteDrFinberg"EsistkeineschöneKrankheit"