NH DHHS - NH Residents Encouraged to Get a Seasonal Flu Vaccine

First Positive Result at State Public Health Lab

Concord, NH – The annual influenza (flu) season has begun and the New

Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) encourages all

residents to consider getting immunized against the flu, especially those

who are at increased risk of complications. An annual flu vaccine is the

first and best way to protect against influenza. DHHS is also announcing

the first case of influenza confirmed by the Public Health Labs (PHL).

“This lab test showing a case of influenza in New Hampshire is slightly

earlier than usual,” said Dr. José Montero, “and it should serve as a

reminder that it is time for people to get this year’s influenza vaccine.

In New Hampshire, flu vaccine is still free for all children up through age


Influenza can be a serious disease of the lungs, nose and throat. The

illness is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.

Typical flu symptoms include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough,

sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. An average of 25,000

people die each year in the United States due to influenza.

The flu season usually lasts from October through May, so the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DHHS recommend that people be

vaccinated as soon as they can in the season. The vaccine is available in

the traditional shot form for people six months of age and older. Flu

vaccine in a nasal mist form is available for healthy people aged 2-49

years who are not pregnant.

“It is important to understand that the vaccine itself does not give you

the flu and that it is very safe,” continued Dr. Montero. “It is especially

important that certain targeted groups be vaccinated for their own safety;

however, other groups, such as health care providers, should receive the

vaccine to protect others. If you won’t do it for yourself, get vaccinated

for someone you care for or about.”

The following groups are at increased risk and should be sure to receive a

flu vaccine every year:

Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday

Pregnant women

People 50 years of age or older

People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, including

asthma, diabetes, or chronic lung disease

People who live with or care for those at high risk of flu

complications, including:

Health care workers

Household contacts of persons at high risk of complications from the


Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children younger

than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be


For more information on influenza and the vaccine, contact the NH

Immunization Program at 800-852-3345 ext. 4482 or 603-271-4482 or the

Communicable Disease Surveillance Section at 800-852-3345 ext. 0279 or

603-271-0279. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

website at www.cdc.gov  for more information or the DHHS website at

www.dhhs.nh.gov . To get the flu vaccine, contact your healthcare provider

or visit a local pharmacy.