Charlestown experienced the highest per capita number of confirmed cases of influenza last week, according to statistics shared by the Boston Public Health Commission.
For the week ending Jan. 5, Charlestown was the only city neighborhood with more than 65 confirmed cases of flu per 100,000 people, according to the report. Other neighborhoods showing high per capita numbers were Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Hyde Park, with 50-64 cases per 100,000 people.
“The week ending Jan. 5, 2013 showed a continued increase in the number of reported influenza cases in Boston residents,” according to the report, posted on the BPHC website. “Two-hundred-thirty-one cases were reported between Dec. 30, 2013 and Jan. 5, 2013, with a total of 750 cases reported since Oct. 1.”
In addition, four people over age 65 have died from influenza-related complications. One-hundred-eighty-two cases have been hospitalized, with most hospitalizations involving people older than 45 years who have underlying medical conditions, the report states.
For the week ending on Jan. 5, Charlestown was in the mid-range for neighborhoods that had emergency room visits related to “influenza-like illness”—defined in the report as “flu or fever and a cough or sore throat.” The ER visit rate in Charlestown was at 30-44 visits per 100,000 people.
Roxbury and Hyde Park saw the most severe cases, based on the number of emergency room visits, with an ER visit rate of more than 60 visits per 100,000 people.
On Wednesday, Jan. 9, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and officials from the Boston Public Health Commission declared a public health emergency because of the flu, advising residents to take extra precautions against the virus, including getting their flu shots.
More than 20 free flu clinics have been set up around the city this weekend, giving residents more opportunities than ever to get vaccinated.