Influenza (256 cases)
Influenza (flu) is caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and nonproductive cough. You can prevent spread of the flu by:
Campylobacteriosis (31 cases) and Salmonellosis (17 cases)
Campylobacter and salmonella are bacteria that are primarily transmitted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with feces. Person-to-person spread can also occur, especially among household contacts, preschool children in daycare, and older adults and developmentally disabled persons living in residential facilities. Reptiles can be sources of infection for salmonella. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps/pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and malaise. You can prevent spread of campylobacter and salmonella by:
Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (11 cases)
Anaplasmosis is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted to humans by tick bites primarily from the black-legged tick (deer tick). Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, malaise, chills, nausea, abdominal pain, cough, and confusion. You can prevent the spread of anaplasmosis by:
*Note: Not all cases of communicable disease are diagnosed so actual number of cases is higher. These numbers represent laboratory-confirmed cases in 2017. Data from MA Department of Public Health Bureau of Infectious Disease.
Zika is a virus spread by mosquitoes. Most people infected with Zika virus do not even get sick. The kinds of mosquitoes known to carry Zika virus are generally not found in Massachusetts. For more information about Zika virus, including recommendations for pregnant women and people traveling, see the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mosquitoes and ticks are more than pests; they can carry diseases which can make you very sick. Common mosquito-borne diseases in Massachusetts are West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Common tickborne diseases in Massachusetts include Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis (Ehrlichiosis). Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito and tick bites and the illnesses they can cause. Visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ticks, mosquitoes) to learn more.
The warmer summer months occasionally bring bats into the living spaces of homes. Because bats can carry rabies, it is important for bats to be tested if they come into contact with a human or a pet. Rabies is serious and important to prevent, but rabid bats are rare.
Click here for more information if you may have had contact with a bat
Questions? Call Animal Control at 617.796.2109 or the Health Department at 617.796.1420.
Sharps are needles and lancets used at home to inject medicine into people or pets. Properly disposing of sharps helps keep potentially harmful products out of the waste stream. A new state regulation went into effect on July 1, 2012 that prohibits people from disposing of needles and lancets in the trash.
Newton residents may bring sharps in proper containers to the Rumford Avenue Resource Recovery Center. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For information and directions, click here.
Most medication, unless indicated otherwise on the package, may be disposed of in your regular household trash (blue bin) after removing it from the container and mixing it with something undesirable such as coffee grounds or kitty litter. Do not flush medication down the toilet. Here are some instructions.
Unwanted or expired medication can be dropped off in kiosks at the Newton Police Department (1321 Washington St) or the West Lobby of Newton-Wellesley Hospital (2014 Washington St). Solid medication only, no liquids or needles. Also, the Newton Police Department and the Health & Human Services Department periodically collaborate with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to collect unused and expired medication.
Each year, more than 1.6 million older US adults go to emergency departments for fall-related injuries. Among older adults, falls are the number one cause of fractures, hospital admissions for trauma, loss of independence, and injury deaths. Fortunately, falls are often preventable.