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Flu Causes Boston To Declare Public Health Emergency04:55
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Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as registered nurse Charlene Luxcin, right, administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as registered nurse Charlene Luxcin, right, administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. (Charles Krupa/AP)

The flu epidemic has touched down in 44 states, and Massachusetts is among the hardest hit. Boston declared a public health emergency Wednesday, with 700 confirmed cases of influenza.

There are also thousands of people sick with the flu or flu-like symptoms, officials say. They're missing work, infecting their families, neighbors and co-workers — and the number of cases continues to grow.

Mayor Thomas Menino announced that the city would provide free flu shots this weekend.

"The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to get the flu shot," Menino said. "I have had my flu shot, I'm asking you to get yours too."

The flu vaccine for the 2012-2013 flu season was fairly well matched to the strain of the flu going around. But the virus itself is simply stronger, doctors say.

While the vaccine may be able to help squelch the outbreak in the commonwealth, the country is in for a long season.

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This segment aired on January 10, 2013.

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