Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino has declared a flu emergency on Wednesday morning after health officials have reported 700 identified cases. This number is ten times the amount of cases in the previous flu season. Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital is seeing between 40 and 80 patients with flu-like illnesses daily in its clinics and emergency department. The city will began to offer free vaccinations to help gain control over the spreading of the illness. Massachusetts has unfortunately had 18 flu deaths so far this season. Although it’s still early to say, Jim Heffernan, chief of primary care at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is concerned that this year’s vaccine may not be as good a match for the circulating flu strains as originally hoped. Each year, vaccine manufacturers make an educated guess about the strains of flu likely to circulate worldwide. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the match is about 90%.
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