DISEASE

Public health officials are urging use of bug repellent this season as cases of tick and mosquito-borne disease are on the rise.

The insects have been expanding their range across the U.S., including here in the Northeast, and a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a significant increase in reported infections.

Flu is still rampant across the United States, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the epidemic has peaked. It eased a bit last week, for the second week in a row.

Influenza is still claiming lives. The CDC reported 17 flu deaths among children last week, bringing the total pediatric deaths to 114. Adult deaths from the flu are not tracked directly.

Delivering the meningitis vaccine at UMass.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, held a meningitis vaccination clinic Thursday as a student remained hospitalized for the bacterial infection.

Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Julie Jordan Scott / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/juliejordanscott

Smith College says a student diagnosed with bacterial meningitis over the weekend is receiving appropriate care at a local hospital.

Officials have just confirmed the first death of a Massachusetts child from flu-related complications: a 6-year-old girl in Haverhill. They are continuing to track what’s clearly the worst flu season in years.

Health officials always say that every flu season is bad, and it is. Many thousands of adults and dozens of children die nationwide every year. But now, we’re starting to see indications that this is the most intense season in recent recorded history.

The current flu season is still getting worse, federal health officials said Friday. And it continues to take a toll on children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional 16 flu deaths among children, bringing the nationwide total this season for youngsters to 53.

The Department of Public Health is offering a first-of-its kind free flu clinic this weekend, in response to an aggressive flu season making its way across the U.S. and the world.

This year's severe flu season is still pummeling the country from coast to coast. The respiratory illness appears to be unusually bad for baby boomers, federal health officials reported Friday.

While the flu appears to have started to ebb in some parts of the country, such as California, flu activity has remained widespread in 49 states for three weeks in a row. And that's unusual.

A sign for a blood drive in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Karen Brown / NEPR

The American Red Cross has raised the alert on its blood supply to "critical" -- the last step before "emergency."

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Even three queasy pregnancies didn’t prepare Kate Murphy for the nonstop nausea that often comes with chemotherapy.

In the early months of 2016, the Lexington mother tried everything the doctors and nurses suggested. “But for the most part I felt nauseous 24/7,” she said.

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