Reporting Lauren Leamanczyk
BOSTON (CBS) – Dora Oquendo’s flu survival kit of noodle soup, Alka-Seltzer and Vick’s Vapo Rub is not cutting it. In fifty years she can’t remember being this sick.
“Sunday it hit me like a rock,” she told WBZ-TV from her Swampscott kitchen. “I haven’t been out of my pajamas in the last couple days. I can’t even move, I’m so weak, tired, exhausted. Throwing up too from just doing all the coughing and it hurts.”
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This strain of the flu is particularly nasty. So far, there are more than 700 confirmed cases in Boston and thousands more are likely battling the bug.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino took extreme steps and declared a public health emergency in the city Wednesday.
That means a full court press to get people the flu shot.
Every city clinic is offering it for free this weekend.
“We’re trying to encourage all those folks this weekend by making it so easy you can go almost anywhere and get a flu shot,” said Patrick Eagan, the health director for the Dorchester House, which has a clinic scheduled.
City officials are urging the coughing, feverish masses to stay home.
Meanwhile, MBTA workers are wiping down seats on subways. And on T platforms, riders will hear public service announcements urging hand washing.
Good advice, Dora says. She wouldn’t wish her flu misery on anyone.
“If you think you’re coming down with something go to the doctor right away because you could have the flu,” she said.
City officials insist it is not too late to get a flu shot. This is the worst strain since at least 2009 and the bad news is, flu season’s not even half over.