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West Nile Virus Alert

On Friday, August 2nd, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) identified West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in trap located in Brookline.  As a result, the risk level is at a Low level.

Mosquito-borne viruses are viruses that are carried and spread by mosquitoes.  In this part of the country, public health surveillance is done for two mosquito-borne viruses that can cause encephalitis (swelling of the brain) - West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).  The period of highest risk of getting either disease can be from late July through the fall.

Full West Nile Virus Alert

Cyclospora Alert

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has observed an increase in reported Cyclospora infections since June 2019.

This year, MDPH has already received reports of over 100 cases of Cyclospora infection since May.  Most of the cases have occurred in greater

Boston, but infections have been reported in residents of most counties in the Commonwealth.

Please click on the link above to learn more about Cyclospora and what to do if you think you have symptoms.

Brookline Department of Public Health Issues Advisory on Foxes

 Brookline— The Brookline Department of Public Health (BPH) reports there was a rabid fox captured on July 2, 2019 near Brookline Muddy River – Jamaican Pond Area.  Rabies is 100 percent preventable with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) that includes rabies vaccine and medications to fight infection, as long as people get PEP before symptoms start.  “If you see wildlife acting erratic avoid them and please call the police immediately” said Swannie Jett, DrPH, MSc, Health Commissioner for Brookline Public Health.

The Brookline Public Health and Human Services’ mission is to preserve, protect & promote the physical, mental, and environmental health of the Brookline Community.  We collaborate with partners to reduce health inequities and respond to emerging public health challenges. For additional information, contact Brookline Department of Public Health on 617-730-2300. Also, please join our Twitter discussion: @BrooklineHealth, Facebook: Brookline Department of Public Health, or Instagram: Brooklinehealth.

Full Press Release

MDPH Clinical Measles Alert

Population Health


I’ve been asked many times what population health is. Wikipedia defines it as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group." It is in essence, a strategic plan to improve the health of the entire population.

Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. (WHO, 1998) Public Health is “What we, as a society, do collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy." (IOM 1988).

 Public Health 

  • Prevents epidemics and the spread of disease
  • Prevents injuries
  • Promotes and encourages healthy behavior
  • Responds to disasters
  • Assures the quality and accessibility of Health Services

 “Population health is public health”

  • A medical model saves lives one person at a time
  • Public Health saves lives millions at a time.

Through public health achievements life expectancy in the United States has increased from 47.3 years in 1900 to 78.1 years in 1996. That’s a 25+ years of life improvement.

Additional Information

Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Commissioner of Public Health, asks that you contact the Brookline Health Department at 617-730-2300 with any questions or requests for additional information.