At AFC Burlington, we strive to do everything in our power to keep you and your family healthy and safe. Besides providing high-quality and affordable urgent care services, we also are here to educate you on the latest public health updates happening across Massachusetts.

The winter in Massachusetts has become increasingly flu-heavy as flu cases are growing rapidly in many parts of the state. Make sure you get your flu shot and practice good hygiene as flu season begins to wind down.

Here we’ve listed the latest public health issues, concerns, and facts that can help you stay healthy and safe this season:

Massachusetts is one of 21 states with widespread cases of flu!

As reported by 22 News on WWLP, Massachusetts was identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as one of 21 states with widespread influenza.

The report details a surge in influenza cases in Western Massachusetts around the Springfield area from early fall to this winter. If you’re traveling to Western Mass. or know someone from the area that is visiting you, make sure to get that flu shot and maintain good hygiene.

Life expectancy continues to grow in Mass. per the Department of Public Health

The average Massachusetts resident will live to an average of 80 years and 8 months and is counter to a national decline in life expectancy, says the Mass. Department of Public Health.

Mass. Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders explained that the state has made significant strides in reducing healthcare disparities at the local and state level. The leading cause of death in the state was cancer while other chronic diseases fell lower on the chart of causes.

Generally, patients from various social, economic, and cultural backgrounds were able to get critical healthcare services whenever they needed it.

HIV rates spike among drug users in Boston

Mass. Health officials have warned residents in the Boston area that HIV rates are increasing among drug, based on reports from WBUR and the Department of Public Health.

Originally, six individuals were diagnosed with the disease back in November according to a letter from public health officials. While the Department of Public Health has not confirmed new cases, individuals should still be wary of possible infection risks around drug users or if they use needles for recreational drug use.

The state believes that HIV rates have increased alongside the rise of the U.S’s opioid crisis as more individuals turn to injectable opioids in the form of heroin, or the super-lethal fentanyl, to use recreationally.