Town of Arlington
Department of Health and Human Services
Christine Bongiorno, Director
27 Maple St.
Arlington, MA 02476
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 28, 2016
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Contact: Christine Bongiorno
Arlington Health and Human Services Warns of Spike in Flu Diagnoses
ARLINGTON — The Arlington Department of Health and Human Services would like to alert the community to a recent surge in the number of flu cases in Arlington this season and urge residents to take healthy protective measures.
This increase is consistent with national and state trends. Typically, flu season lasts from October through the following April. This year, however, the season appears to be peaking later than normal, causing a spike of flu cases into the spring. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently classifies Massachusetts as showing moderate levels of influenza activity, while the majority of the Northeast shows moderate to high activity levels.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness that attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract. Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea. Any number of these symptoms may be apparent.
“While flu season is technically almost over, we are urging the community to remain aware of the virus’ threat as we transition into spring,” said Christine Bongiorno, Director of Health and Human Services. “Please take caution as you go about your day and be mindful that the flu is more active than normal this late into the season.”
The flu virus is highly contagious and can live for a short time on common household objects such as doorknobs, phones and toys. After anyone touches these objects, the virus can be transferred to the mouth, nose, or eyes. An adult can infect other people one day before symptoms show up and up to five days after they start. Children are much more contagious, and can spread the virus long after initial symptoms.
Arlington Health and Human Services encourages residents to practice additional vigilance to prevent the spread of the flu virus:
- Avoid close contact with friends, family, and colleagues if you or they are sick
- Consult with your employer about staying home while contagious
- Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing
- Practice effective, thorough hand washing more often than normal
For more information about preventing or treating the flu, contact the Arlington Department of Health and Human Services at 781-316-3170.