• Late season flu spike raises concerns in Massachusetts


    BOSTON - Just when we thought flu season was on its last days, a recent uptick in influenza-like cases has been raising concerns across the state.

    So far, Massachusetts has registered more than 15,000 cases of the flu this season, more than three times the numbers reported last season.

    "We've seen more cases than we've seen in years," said Ali Raja, an emergency medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. "What we're seeing is a late season spike, and we've seen it a lot of years, in the last as well."

    Dr. Raja says there's a key difference in the type of influenza now on the rise.

    "At the beginning of the season we were seeing Influenza Type A, and now we're seeing a lot of influenza Type B," said Dr. Raja.

    However, as much as we'd rather not have any stain of the flu going around, Dr. Raja says the type B influenza is less likely to make you need medical attention to recover than the type A.

    This year's flu vaccination was,as usual, an imperfect concoction. 

    Dr. Raja says the vaccine was "still pretty good" and that "it's about 46 percent protective" for the Type B influenza, "which is pretty good".

    At any rate, Dr. Raja says the best way to protect yourself is by getting the flu shot, and that it's not too late to do so.


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