(NECN: John Monahan – Dorchester, Mass.) - With the flu hitting Boston hard, officials are stepping up their efforts to keep people in the city healthy after Mayor Tom Menino declared a public health emergency.
But some new numbers released on Friday show that things may be looking up.
On Friday, we learned the flu is spreading across the U.S., but there was one hopeful sign: Fewer states are seeing the most severe cases of the flu.
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 47 states now have widespread flu activity, up from 41.
Twenty-four states are labeled the hardest hit -- that's down from 29.
In Massachusetts, fewer people came down with the flu last week compared to the previous week, but prevention efforts are still full speed ahead.
Boston has declared a public health emergency because of the flu, and the city is offering free flu vaccinations.
There are clinics all weekend, and they got under way on Friday.
“We really want to be concerned about young people, we really want to be concerned about elderly people, and we want to be concerned about anybody who has an underlying chronic condition,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.