Flu Severity Rises To 'Very High' In Massachusetts
Influenza severity rose from high to very high, with related hospitalizations continuing to increase in recent weeks, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported Friday afternoon.
The department has four severity levels — low, moderate, high and very high — which are based on influenza activity and distribution. Influenza-like illness is defined as fever above 100 degrees, in addition to either a cough and/or a sore throat.
The percentage of flu-like illness visits remains higher than the same week in the previous two years, DPH reported.
DPH said all influenza strains characterized to date in Massachusetts this season are covered by the current flu vaccine.
Posted on Friday, and based on data collected through Feb. 8, the report also said there have been 15 confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, including one in Massachusetts that was disclosed by public health officials on Feb. 1.