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Entries in NH DHHS (667)


NH DHHS - New Hampshire Residents Reminded It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate!

DHHS Recognizes National Influenza Immunization Week

Concord, NH – The annual influenza (flu) season is underway and the New

Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public

Health Services (DPHS) is encouraging any residents who have not yet

received their flu vaccination this year to do so. The flu vaccine is still

the single best protection against the flu. It is also helpful in reducing

the length and severity of illness if someone does get the flu. National

Influenza Immunization Week was established by the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention (CDC) to highlight the importance of continuing flu

vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

On December 4th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

announced that the strain of flu that is making most people in the United

States sick so far this season is in this year’s vaccine, but it is not a

perfect match. The influenza A (H3N2) strain has changed since the vaccine

was manufactured, which is not uncommon with flu strains. The vaccine does

still offer some protection against the flu and its complications.

“We want to make sure that New Hampshire residents are as well protected as

possible against the flu and the best preventive step is still to get

vaccinated,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “It

is also important that if you do think you have the flu, speak with your

healthcare provider as soon as possible and stay home from school and work

to avoid spreading it to others who are at risk.”

It is especially important that those at higher risk for influenza

complications be vaccinated. These groups include:

· Children aged 6 months through 4 years of age

· Pregnant women

· Adults 65 years of age or older

· People who are immunosuppressed

· People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, including

asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or chronic lung disease.

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

should also be vaccinated 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 vaccinated).

Additionally, it is also important for patients who have flu symptoms, even

if they have been vaccinated, to seek medical attention. There are

antiviral medications that can be administered to shorten symptoms and help

prevent more serious illness and complications. These medications are more

effective the sooner they are administered after developing symptoms.

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

illness is spread from person to person through contact with respiratory

secretions including 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 23,000 people die each year

in the United States due to influenza. The vaccine itself does not give you

the flu and is very safe.

There is plenty of flu vaccine available, and vaccines are offered in many

locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, retail stores, pharmacies,

health care centers, as well as some employers and schools. To look for a

flu vaccine near you visit

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

Immunization Program at 1-800-852-3345 x 4482 or 603-271-4482 or the Bureau

of Infectious Disease Control at 1-800-852-3345 x 0279 or 603-271-0279.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at for more information or the DHHS website at



NH DHHS - Do New Hampshire Seniors Have a Reason to Smile?

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, Oral Health Program has

released the results of the 2014 Oral Health Survey of New Hampshire Older

Adults that are based on data collected at 25 Senior Centers and Congregate

Meal Sites in our State and the news is compelling. Altogether, 18.9% of

older adults are in need of early or urgent dental care that may be

difficult to access particularly due to financial and transportation

issues. The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors funded this

survey of adults aged 60 and older and the New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly

and Adult Services (BEAS) provided funding from its Title IIID Older

Americans Act allocation for all dental treatment referrals resulting from

the survey. Altogether, 610 adults 60 years of age and older were screened;

38 of these received restorative treatment using BEAS funds.

The results of this survey provide important insights into the dental needs

of our older residents who remain active and live independently. Collected

data show that only 18.4% of older adults have some type of dental

insurance to help pay for routine dental care, 28.0% of older adults have

no functional top to bottom tooth contact, which affects proper chewing,

and 15.9% of older adults have lost all of their natural teeth, which

greatly impacts their quality of life and well being. Approximately 5.2% of

individuals with no teeth have no dentures, which interferes with eating

and daily functioning. Similarly, 25.4% of older adults have untreated

decay or root fragments, and 6.8% are in need of periodontal care. The

report reveals that there are significant geographic and socioeconomic

disparities in our State. Older residents living in rural areas and those

with lower incomes have a significantly greater unmet need for dental care.

“Oral diseases and conditions are common among our New Hampshire seniors,”

said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “many of whom

grew up without the benefit of community water fluoridation and other

fluoride products. This survey illustrates that New Hampshire seniors with

the poorest oral health are those who are economically disadvantaged and

live in the most rural parts of our State. This is not a cosmetic issue.

Our seniors have conditions that impact their ability to eat and may impact

their overall health."

The collected data help to identify gaps in service delivery to older

adults who represent a substantial proportion of the State’s population. In

fact, the current number of New Hampshire adults 65 years old and older is

about 200,000. The Oral Health Program has received federal funding for two

new dental facilities in health centers located in rural New Hampshire.

Oral health care will be integrated into medical care for underserved rural

residents, including older adults with a greater unmet need for dental

care. A similar survey will track the progress in the future. To view the

full report, visit


NH DHHS - Four New Hampshire SalmonellaCases Identified

Part of Multistate Outbreak Linked to Bean Sprouts

Concord, NH – Four people in New Hampshire, so far, have been identified by

the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of

Public Health Services (DPHS) as being linked to a multistate outbreak

involving bean sprouts consumption in restaurants. As of November 21, 2014,

a total of 63 people have been infected with Salmonella Enteriditis in 10

states. Traceback from all of the establishments indicated that all

received bean sprouts from Wonton Foods, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York.

The firm is cooperating with public health and agriculture officials and

has reported that their last shipment of bean sprouts was on November 18,

2014. As of November 21, 2014, the firm has verbally agreed to voluntarily

stop the production and sale of their bean sprouts while they take steps to

prevent Salmonella contamination. The other states reporting cases include

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania,

Rhode Island, and Vermont. Illness onset dates range from September 30th to

November 8th. So far 11 people have been hospitalized, none in New

Hampshire, and no deaths have been reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local

public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance to identify

additional ill persons and to interview them about foods they ate before

they became ill. This ongoing investigation is rapidly evolving, and CDC

and DPHS will update the public when additional information is available.

“The Division of Public Health Services will continue to investigate to

identify any other potential cases and has notified the New Hampshire

Grocers Association and the New Hampshire Restaurant and Lodging

Association so that the product is removed from consumption” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “Sprouts are a known source of

foodborne illness, so if you are not sure of the origin of any sprouts, it

is best to throw them out rather than risk consuming a contaminated


The CDC is recommending that restaurants and other retailers do not sell or

serve sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. at this time. Consumers are

encouraged to cook any sprouts and children, older adults, pregnant women,

and persons with weakened immune systems should always avoid eating raw

sprouts of any kind due to their increased risk of illness from Salmonella.

Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps usually 12 to 72

hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most

people recover without treatment. However, in some cases, the diarrhea may

be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients,

the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood

stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the patient

is treated promptly with antibiotics.

The DHHS Division of Public Health Services continues to follow this

outbreak closely, including investigation of any reported cases in close

coordination with the CDC and the FDA, and will provide updates as they

become available. For further information visit the CDC website at, or to report a

suspected case contact the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at



NH DHHS - Celebrates the Great American Smoke Out with NH Universities and Colleges

Concord, NH – In celebration of the 37th Great American Smoke Out (GASO),

the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division

of Public Health Services (DPHS) recognizes the work of New Hampshire

colleges and universities committed to implementing tobacco-free policies

on their campuses. DHHS recognizes the importance of GASO on Thursday,

November 20, 2014. This event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society,

encourages tobacco users to quit for at least one day in the hope that this

might challenge them to stop permanently.

DPHS released a competitive request for proposals for the purpose of

increasing the number of tobacco-free college campuses in New Hampshire.

The contract was awarded to the University System of New Hampshire (USNH)

and the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH). Together, USNH

and CCSNH will work with students and faculty at 23 university and college

campuses across the State to promote and adopt tobacco-free policies that

also address electronic cigarette use indoors and outdoors. The project

will have a positive impact on staff and students and will enhance the

economic health of the system(s). Reducing tobacco on campuses could

prevent a new cohort of lifetime smokers.

Many New Hampshire college and university campuses will be holding events

and offering information about quitting tobacco and the NH Tobacco Helpline

resources (1-800-QUIT-NOW) for the Great American Smoke Out event on

November 20th. DHHS celebrates the collaboration’s current success and


“Across the U.S. and here in New Hampshire we have made great progress in

reducing smoking rates and therefore smoking-related illness and death,”

said Dr. José Montero, “but we still have a responsibility to our youth and

young adults to continue. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, but

quitting has immediate and long-lasting effects. If you use tobacco, it’s

not too late to quit, and the Great American Smoke Out is a great day to


Currently, 16.2% of New Hampshire adults report smoking. According to the

2011 Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Survey at the University of New Hampshire

Durham campus, 15.3% of students indicated that they smoke every day or

some days, and 18.2% of students indicated that they smoke cigarettes while

drinking alcohol. It is important that New Hampshire institutions of higher

learning help students and residents quit tobacco and provide them with

cessation resources. DPHS currently offers free counseling to all

residents who call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or self-refer via the web to the NH

Tobacco Helpline’s website ( ). The Helpline provides

no-cost counseling and encouragement for quitting tobacco use to all New

Hampshire residents.

For more information about the New Hampshire Division of Public Health

Services or the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program visit . For information about the Great American Smoke Out visit .


NH DHHS - Statehouse Event to Honor NH’s Adoptive Families

Celebrating New Hampshire’s Adoptive Families

During National Adoption Month

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) will honor New Hampshire’s Adoptive Families during a celebration at

the State House in Concord on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. The event will

celebrate the 127 adoptions finalized in the State between October 2013 and

September 2014. Governor Maggie Hassan, DHHS Commissioner Nicholas

Toumpas, and DHHS’ Division for Children, Youth and Families Administrator

Eileen Mullen will be speaking at the celebration. This will also be an

opportunity to hear from an adoptive parent.

EVENT: DHHS Celebrates New

Hampshire’s Adoptive Families

WHEN: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

3 PM

LOCATION: NH State House

Governor and Council


107 North Main St –

Concord, NH

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