Boston Declares Emergency Due to Flu

January 9, 2013

Associated Press

A registered nurse administers a flu shot at a Boston, Mass. health center.

A flu outbreak in Boston has reached such massive levels the city's mayor declared a public health emergency Wednesday.

“This is the worst flu season we’ve seen since 2009, and people should take the threat of flu seriously,” Mayor Thomas Menino said in a statement.  “This is not only a health concern, but also an economic concern for families, and I’m urging residents to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.”

The numbers are staggering. Boston has seen 700 confirmed cases of the flu since October. That's 10 times the number of cases reported by this time in 2012.

It's not the just the high number of cases that's scary. According to the city, 25% of those flu cases were so serious, people were hospitalized. 

Boston isn't alone. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says at least 29 states are reporting influenza-like illness, and doctor visits for flu symptoms have climbed from 2.8% to 5.6% in the last four weeks.


How to Protect Yourself and Your Family

The CDC has three major recommendations:

1. Get the flu vaccine

The CDC says a flu vaccine is the most important protective measure you can take.

2. Take everyday preventative actions

These are the basics we all know, but don't always follow: wash your hands; cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough; avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.

3. Take antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them

Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics and can help shorten the length of time you're sick.


World's Happiest People

World's Happiest People

Associated Press

Ariel Alexis Cajar, 12, from Saboga Island, looks at fishing boats anchored at the Panama bay in Panama City, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012.

  • World's Happiest People
  • World's Happiest People
  • World's Happiest People
  • World's Happiest People
  • World's Happiest People
  • World's Happiest People
  • World's Happiest People

Featured Blogs


By Dr. Jeff Masters
December 28, 2014

Colder Weather on the way - with a fairly big snow storm possible next weekend.

November 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By Christopher C. Burt
December 18, 2014

November was globally the 7th warmest such on record according to NOAA and 8th according to NASA (see Jeff Master’s blog for more about this). It was a cold month in the U.S. with some phenomenal lake-effect snowstorms. A powerful storm, dubbed a ‘Medicane’ formed in the Mediterranean Sea. Deadly floods occurred in Morocco, Italy, and Switzerland. It was the warmest November on record for Australia, Italy, Austria and much of Southeast Asia.Below are some of the month’s highlights.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.