CDC

Following flu related deaths, Boston has declared a public health emergency.

Massachusetts has reported 18 flu-related deaths (all elderly patients) since the unofficial start of flu season October 1st. In Boston four deaths have been reported. The city is working to set up flu vaccination clinics and offer free flu shots.

The city is fighting one of the worst flu seasons since at least 2009 when H1N1, or swine flu, spread throughout the U.S. The city says they have 700 confirmed cases of the flu. That's quite the increase from last year, only 70 cases where reported. 'The Weekly Flu Advisory' issued by the CDC lists Massachusetts as one of 29 states reporting high levels of 'Flu-like illness.' Maine is currently 'Moderate' in flu activity. However, the flu is considered 'widespread' in Maine and more than half the country.

Officials say it's not too late to be vaccinated. Young children and the elderly are at the highest risk for flu-related complications. Experts also remind you that a flu shot dose not prevent you from getting the flu, it helps lessen the symptoms.