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Menino Declares Flu Outbreak a Health Emergency

Boston's seen a 10-fold increase in flu cases over last year.

Mayor Thomas Menino declared a health emergency due to Boston's flu outbreak.

There were over 700 reported cases in the city this flu season, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. That's 10 times the average number of cases last year, according to WBUR. 

Fortunately, there's plenty of vaccine to go around this year, and the mayor's office recommends everyone get the shot. 

In Weston, the Board of Health still has about 40 doses of the vaccine,  according to Public Health Director Wendy Diotalevi. Those doses are free, but Diotalevi said those doses could run out at any time.

"Obviously, the mayor's announcement has raised some interest," Diotalevi said, adding that a father called this afternoon seeking a vaccination for his son after his wife and daughter came down with flu-like symptoms. "I don't know that we have more flu than any other community, but we are having some movement in flu questions."

Weston's Public Health Nurse Jane Brown encouraged anyone who had not received a flu shot, to get one right away. She explained that, depending on a person's size and immune system, it can take about two weeks for a vaccination to protect the recipient.

"Everybody is at risk, but children and elderly are always more at risk," Brown said. She added that preganat women can receive a flu shot to help protect them from spreading the flu to their newborns who cannot receive a flu shot until they are 6 months old.

If you can't get a flu shot from the Weston Board of Health, you can use the widget above to find flu shots at nearby pharmacies, clinics and other locations.

The Red Cross offers several tips to reduce your exposure to the flu, like washing your hands often, coughing and sneezing into your elbow instead of your hand and others on this list. 

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