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News Briefs: Hinds statement on Rosenberg situation; Department of Public Health advises early flu shots

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By Tuesday, Dec 5, 2017 News
Hinds releases statement on sexual harrassment allegations

Boston — Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, has released a statement regarding Monday’s actions by the Massachusetts Senate. The statement is as follows:

“The allegations of sexual misconduct by the husband of Senate President Stan Rosenberg are deeply disturbing. That is why I supported our actions today. Our focus was first with the victims. Their courage is admirable. No one who serves, works, or does business in the Legislature should feel unsafe, coerced, or unsupported.

The Senate accepted a letter from the Senate President requesting a temporary leave of absence from the Presidency during the course of investigation over these matters. An order was adopted directing the Senate Committee on Ethics to conduct an investigation to determine if any Senate Rules have been violated.

Alongside this, the Senate will comprehensively review the Senate’s sexual harassment policy through a Special Sexual Harassment Committee charged with conducting the review and recommending necessary changes.

I believe Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk District Attorney Dan Connelly’s intentions to open parallel criminal investigations are necessary to ensure any criminal conduct which is outside of the Senate Ethics committee jurisdiction will be investigated and appropriately addressed. This is an important step to address possible criminal claims.”

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Mass. Department of Public Health advises early flu shots

Boston — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said Tuesday that flu season has started earlier than usual and recommends that people take steps to prevent the spread of flu.

Saturday, Dec. 3, through Saturday, Dec. 9, is National Influenza Vaccination Week, which focuses on highlighting the importance of flu vaccination.

As a reminder, DPH recommends that people:

  • Get the flu vaccine as soon as possible.
  • Wash their hands thoroughly and regularly, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover their coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home when they are sick with fever and cough or sore throat, if possible.
  • Talk to their healthcare providers if they think they have the flu, especially if they have health concerns that make them more likely to develop severe illnesses when sick with the flu. The doctor may prescribe antiviral medications, which work best when started early in the course of illness.

The most common symptoms of flu are a fever accompanied by a cough or sore throat. Symptoms can also include body aches, headache, chills, runny nose and fatigue. Some people, especially young children, also develop diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms can last from a few days to up to a week or more.

Flu can be very serious. Every year in the United States, millions of people get the flu, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized, and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related illnesses. Some people are at higher risk of serious health problems when they get the flu, including pregnant women; infants; the elderly; and people with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, neurological and neuromuscular conditions and weakened immune systems. The flu vaccine takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu virus infection.

The flu virus is spread through droplets of saliva and mucus from the nose and mouth of someone who coughs or sneezes. If you are close enough to a person with the flu (3 to 6 feet) when they cough or sneeze, you can breathe in the virus and get sick. Flu symptoms start one to four days after a person breathes in the virus.

The flu virus can also live for a short time on things that are touched, such as doorknobs, phones and toys. After you touch these objects, you can catch the virus when you touch your mouth, nose or eyes. Adults with flu can spread it from about one day before symptoms appear to about one week after. Children can spread the flu even longer after they get sick.

For more information about influenza, visit https://www.mass.gov/influenza.

Detailed weekly flu surveillance reports and other related flu articles are posted on the Mass Public Health Blog.

For questions, contact your local board of health, your healthcare provider or DPH at (617) 983-6800.

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