Tag Archives: Boston

Flu has reached epidemic proportions


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's flickr

The early and rapid spread of this year’s flu season has had deadly consequences.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu has reached epidemic status, causing 7.3 percent of deaths last week. The CDC’s epidemic threshold is marked at 7.2 percent.

Every region of the United States — excluding the Southwest and California — registered a spike in the number of cases of the flu over the past week.

Boston, the city hit hardest by the disease, has seen 700 confirmed cases of flu and four flu-related deaths so far this season. Last year, Boston had only 70 confirmed cases.

The CDC said that flu-associated deaths each season range from 3,000 people to about 49,000 people. Those at increased risk for serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.

Symptoms of the respiratory viral infection include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea.

The CDC cautions those hoping to obtain the flu vaccine that the coveted shot may be difficult to find. Pharmacies have reported an increase in the number of people looking to get vaccinated, and contacting more than one provider may be a necessary part of the search.

A pharmacy staff member at the CVS on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria said they ran out of the flu shot several days ago and had just been restocked today.

“We have them in stock now but now a lot people are coming in to get them,” said the pharmacy staff member, who estimated they would be out of the vaccine again by the end of the day.

Bloomberg Bet Pays Off for Giants’ Fans


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Big Blue’s victory is the gift that keeps on giving for Giants’ fans.

Thanks to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s bet with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino four lucky fans will be getting an all-expense paid trip to Boston. The mayor’s each wagered a weekend excursion in their respective city for four fans of the winning team.  The Patriots loss is Giants’ fans gain.

You can enter to win the trip by visiting www.nyc.gov, calling 311 or texting 311692 beginning on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m and lasting until 10 a.m. Friday.

The trip to Boston will include: four roundtrip tickets on JetBlue, a two-night stay at the Ritz Carlton, dinner for four at Legal Seafoods Harborside and the Top of the Hub restaurant, four tickets to a performance at the Citi Performing Arts Center, four box seats at a Bruins or Celtics game at the TD Garden, a behind-the-scenes-tour of the newly expanded Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, a Duck Tour ride, a VIP tour of the personal diaries of John Adams at the Boston Public Library, a VIP tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery and a photo with Menino.

Pols betting on Big Blue


| brennison@queenscourier.com

While Las Vegas collects action on this weekend’s big game, local politicians are also looking to parlay Big Blue’s Super Bowl run into big winnings.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Boston counterpart, Thomas Menino, made a friendly bet on the big game — and if the Giants beat the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 5, four lucky fans will score a trip to Boston to celebrate in their territory.

“New York sports teams have a history of cleaning up when they go to Boston — and now our fans will have a chance to do the same,” Bloomberg said. “Any New Yorker not too tired from salsa dancing Sunday night will be able to enter an online lottery for the chance to win.”

Bloomberg, who will be attending the game in Indianapolis, is asking New Yorkers to show their support for the Giants by donning blue on “Big Blue Friday.”

A winner will be chosen from the champion’s city for an all-expense paid trip to the losing city.

The trip to Boston will include: four roundtrip tickets on JetBlue, a two-night stay at the Ritz Carlton, dinner for four at Legal Seafoods Harborside and the Top of the Hub restaurant, four tickets to a performance at the Citi Performing Arts Center, four box seats at a Bruins or Celtics game at the TD Garden, a behind-the-scenes-tour of the newly expanded Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, a Duck Tour ride, a VIP tour of the personal diaries of John Adams at the Boston Public Library, a VIP tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery and a photo with Menino.

Other local politicians are trying their luck with their New England counterparts, too.

Congressmember Gary Ackerman wagered matzo ball soup and a corned beef sandwich from Ben’s Best Deli in Rego Park against New England clam chowder and clam rolls from Congressemember Mike Capuano.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will also be chowing on chowder if the Giants come out victorious. She anted some New York-style cheesecake against Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s offer of clam chowder.