A Boston man in his forties is the first death linked to influenza this year in the city, the Boston Public Health Commission said today. The patient had underlying health conditions.
“It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of a Boston resident from illness associated with the flu. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends,” said Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.
Boston health officials recommend that everyone take the following steps to reduce their risk of illness:
--Get vaccinated against influenza every year. For adults with health insurance, you should contact your health care provider to receive the vaccine. For Boston residents who do not have health insurance, or if you have any other questions, call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 or 800-847-0710. Calls are free and confidential. Many pharmacies in the city are also offering vaccine.
--Cover your mouth when you cough, either with your upper sleeve or a tissue.
--Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
--Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
--If you are sick with a fever and cough or sore throat, stay home for 24 hours after you have stopped taking fever-reducing medication or for four days – whichever is longer.
This program aired on October 6, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.