Flu-related Deaths in Boston Rises to 6

(NECN: John Monahan) - Two more deaths have been reported in Boston as the city steps up its campaign on influenza.

So far this flu season, six people in the city who had the flu have died. The Boston Public Health Commission reports that a young child under the age of six and an elderly resident who both had the flu have died.

"We really want to be concerned about the very young and the elderly and anyone with underlying chronic conditions," Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.

These latest deaths as the state of Massachusetts saw its first decrease in the number of cases this week even as the city of Boston says its numbers are climbing. After announcing a public health emergency on Wednesday, the city is opening health centers in every neighborhood this weekend all in an effort to get as many people as possible immunized.

In Dorchester, the Uphams Corner Health Center opened its doors on Friday and in just three hours, nearly 200 people turned up for flu shots. Maria de Pena of Dorchester wants to be sure her two little girls are protected.

"One of my daughters already has a cold so I came here. I want to be sure they get a flu shot," she said.

These two latest victims both had the flu, but health officials says they must do more tests to determine if they died from influenza or a pre-existing health condition.

Whether this flu season has peaked in Boston and around the state is still in question but what isn't according to the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission is getting a flu shot.

Dr. Ferrer says, "Any child over six months of age right on up to the elderly should be getting vaccinated."

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