Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today the State has received from the federal government a shipment of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to assist in responding to the international outbreak of the H1N1 virus. The SNS, which includes large quantities of antiviral medicines such as oseltamivir and zanamivir, will be added to the State’s current supply of antivirals.
“Earlier this week the Governor requested a portion of the SNS to be sent to New Hampshire,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “This is yet another step we are taking to ensure we have the resources we need to treat people who may become ill with this virus.” DHHS has a strategy that will be implemented to assist in dispersing the supplies to local communities. The SNS is used to support hospitals, doctors and physicians as their supplies are depleted.
On Thursday, New Hampshire identified two probable cases of the virus. The cases are considered probable pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Both individuals are employees at Concord Hospital. They have responded well to treatment and are recovering at home. A third individual from the Upper Valley is also being considered a probable case at this time. DHHS Division of Public Health continues to use surveillance to monitor for additional cases.
“We still don’t know just how severe this illness will be or how much it will spread,” said Public Health Director Dr. José Montero. “It is critically important that people continue following the steps we have recommended to help stop the spread of this illness. Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should call a doctor and isolate themselves from other people. Proper hand washing can help prevent contracting the virus, and people should cough or sneeze into their sleeves.”
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to seasonal influenza, including fever, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headache and muscle aches, and fatigue. Some patients have also reported diarrhea and vomiting and severe illness, including pneumonia and death, have been reported as well.
For questions about swine flu, possible symptoms, travel information or other issues related to this illness residents can call 1-888-330-6764 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily. For more information on swine flu, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov/swineflu.