U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carol E. Davis

A midlevel New York court has upheld the state Health Department's 2013 requirement that medical personnel get vaccinations or wear masks during flu season when in areas with patients. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carol E. Davis

Get ready for flu season: New Hampshire health officials have announced the first positive influenza test result identified in the state public health laboratories.

Connecticut flu deaths increase to 17

Jan 25, 2013
Leon Brooks

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut health officials say 11 more flu deaths have been reported in the state over the past week, bringing the total to 17 in the current flu season.

The Department of Public Health says 15 of the people who died were 65 or older and two were between 55 and 64.

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While it began in October, flu season has arrived in earnest this month with a vengeance -The Centers for Disease Control reports that flu is now widespread in 46 states.

In New York, state health officials say that flu vaccine is still available, but there may be some localized shortages because of late season demand.

Incidents of the flu appear to be rising in Vermont.

As of last week, about 20 percent of hospital visits were for respiratory illnesses and about 5 percent of visits to doctors' offices were for flu-like symptoms. Three adults have died so far, all of them in December.

Rupert Millard

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New rules are being rolled out at Albany Medical Center, St. Peter's Health Partners, Ellis Medicine, Saratoga Hospital and Glens Falls Hospital, to further protect patients from influenza and other infectious diseases. Implementation of the new guidelines began Friday at some of the hospitals and start Monday at others.

Federal healthy officials said Friday there are some early signs this year's flu season may be easing in some parts of the country. But they stressed it's far too early to tell whether the flu season has peaked.

The number of states reporting widespread flu activity is up to 47, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But flu activity nationally fell slightly in the CDC's most recent data. Five states reported less flu than a week earlier, according to the CDC.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Flickr

BOSTON (AP) - State officials are offering reassurances that there is plenty of vaccine still available for people who are still looking to get a flu shot.

Interim public health commissioner Lauren Smith said Thursday the state has distributed 760,000 doses of vaccine so far this season, and there remains ample supply. She said officials are working with local boards of health that are looking to open public clinics to meet the demand for flu shots.

Officials say there have been 6,000 laboratory confirmed cases of flu in Massachusetts and 18 flu-related deaths.

We were warned that this year's flu season was likely to be a bad one, and now that forecast is starting to bear out.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Flickr


Baystate Health  has put new visitor policies in place at its three hospitals in Springfield, Greenfield and Ware.  Patients can have no more than 2 visitors at a time and none  under the age of 14. Patients are asked to come alone to doctor’s appointments.   Dr. Sarah Haessler, an infectious disease specialist at Baystate said the last time these precautions were taken was during the flu pandemic in 2009.