Press Releases


Entries in Public Health (82)


NH DHHS - Health Department Holds Public Meeting on Travelers Returning from Ebola-Stricken Countries

Concord, NH – The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has led to Americans

traveling to the affected countries to lend their assistance and expertise

to the victims of this devastating disease. New Hampshire is no exception,

with healthcare workers from the Kearsarge region traveling to Africa to

help out. In order to give the community a chance to ask questions about

the disease and the potential impacts of returning travelers, the New

Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will be speaking

at a public meeting hosted by the Kearsarge Regional School System at

Kearsarge Regional High School.

Speakers for this event include:

DHHS Public Health Director Dr. José Montero

State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan

Kearsarge Regional Superintendent Jerry Frew

DATE: Monday, November 17, 2014

6:00 pm

EVENT: Ebola Informational Session

LOCATION: Kearsarge Regional High School

457 North Road

North Sutton, NH 03260


NH DHHS - Recall of Frozen Chicken Product

Concord, NH – The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection

Service (FSIS) has announced that the Aspen Foods Division of Koch Meats

(Chicago, IL) is recalling 28,980 pounds of chicken products as they may be

contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. These products were distributed

to Shaw’s stores in New Hampshire. The recalled product includes partially

prepared Chicken a la Kiev products sold by retailers under the Antioch

Farms brand name, with “sell by” dates of October 1, 2015 and October 7,

2015. A total of 6 persons were identified in Minnesota with the same

strain of Salmonella, and all reported Chicken Kiev consumption prior to

illness onset. This product has been removed from all Shaw’s stores in New

Hampshire and no cases of Salmonella linked to this outbreak have been

identified in New Hampshire.

The implicated products were produced on July 2, 2014 and July 8, 2014, and

bear the establishment number “P-1358 inside the USDA mark of inspection.”

The product is identified as:

· Single 5-ounce plastic packets of Raw Stuffed Chicken Breast Breaded,

Boneless Breast of Chicken with Rib Meat “A La Kiev.”

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

of Public Health Services is conducting surveillance to identify possible

cases associated with this product and following the national investigation

closely should the list of involved products expand.

“Even though the product has been removed from stores, it is important that

all consumers check their freezers for this product,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “Most people recover from

salmonellosis, but it has serious implications for young children, seniors,

and the immune compromised.”

Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes fatal

infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and those with

weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often

experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and

abdominal pain. Some cases may be more severe and people may even need to

be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread

from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other parts of the

body and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with


If consumers have any of these products at home they are advised to discard

them immediately and not eat them. DHHS reminds consumers of the importance

of properly handling raw poultry to prevent contamination from spreading to

other foods and food contact surfaces. Additionally, following package

cooking instructions for frozen or fresh chicken products is critical.

Consumers should be aware that actual time may vary depending on the

cooking method (broiling, frying, or grilling) and the temperature of the

product (chilled versus frozen), so it is important that the final

temperature of 165 °F must be reached for safety.

This may be an evolving situation so consumers are advised to check the

USDA website at

for updates. For questions about salmonellosis, call the DHHS Division of

Public Health Services, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at (603)



NH DHHS Collaborates to Bring National Diabetes Prevention Program to NH

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

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is partnering with health

care and community partners throughout the State to bring the National

Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) to New Hampshire. In honor of National

Diabetes Month, an updated DHHS website will feature prediabetes

information. DHHS will also utilize Facebook and Twitter to spread

messaging about prediabetes to the public.

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention

has never been greater,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health

at DHHS. “The National Diabetes Prevention Program offers a proven approach

to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest

lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

Prediabetes is defined as having a blood glucose (sugar) level that is

higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. People

are more likely to have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if they are:

· 45 years of age or older

· Overweight

· Have a family history of type 2 diabetes

· Physically active fewer than three times per week

· Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during a pregnancy or

gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds.

CDC estimates that 37% of adults have prediabetes. However, only 11% of

people with prediabetes know they have the condition. Without intervention,

15 to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within

five years.

NDPP uses an evidence-based curriculum approved by the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention (CDC). As part of a group, participants work with a

trained lifestyle coach for 16 weeks and learn to:

· Eat healthy

· Increase their level of physical activity

· Manage stress

· Stay motivated, and

· Solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes.

Nationwide implementation of NDPP could save the U.S. health care system

$5.7 billion and prevent about 885,000 future cases of type 2 diabetes, a

serious condition that can lead to: heart attack; stroke; blindness; kidney

failure; or loss of toes, feet, or legs.

NDPP can be found at hospitals and YMCAs around the state. For more

information or to locate a program near you visit: or

For information about prediabetes and the Diabetes Education Program at

DHHS visit


NH DHHS - Deputy State Epidemiologist Contributes to the Global Ebola Control Effort 

CONCORD, N.H. – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

announced today that Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, Deputy State Epidemiologist,

will be going to Liberia at the end of next week.

Dr. Talbot, who is also a physician with the Geisel School of Medicine at

Dartmouth, will be in Liberia for four weeks and will play a leading role

in training clinical teams of physicians, nurses and other staff to conduct

Ebola control activities. She will work with International Medical Corps, a

non-governmental organization. Just as in New Hampshire, her primary goal

is to protect those on the frontline of the Ebola epidemic. Upon her return

to New Hampshire, her colleagues at the Division of Public Health Services

will conduct her post-arrival monitoring.

“We are very proud of Dr. Talbot,” said Dr. José T. Montero, Director of

the Division of Public Health Services. “She exemplifies the dedication of

the many public health and medical professionals and organizations working

to end this serious medical crisis in West Africa. She will take with her

our best wishes and we will await her return.”

“I am very proud of the preparedness work we are doing in New Hampshire,”

said Dr. Talbot. “The timing is right and I am grateful for this

opportunity to contribute to the effort.”


NH DHHS - DHHS Identifies a Second Horse with Eastern Equine Encephalitis

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

(DHHS) is announcing that a horse from Sanbornton has been identified with

the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus infection. This is the second

finding of EEE in a horse this year, though a mule was identified with EEE

in September. Eighteen mosquito batches have also tested positive for EEE.

The arboviral risk level for the town of Sanbornton will increase from low

to high. The surrounding towns of Laconia, Belmont, and Tilton will

increase from low to moderate, and the towns of New Hampton, Franklin,

Hill, and Meredith will increase from no data/baseline to moderate risk.

EEE is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitos. It is important that

people continue to take precautions against mosquito bites, including

wearing an effective repellent, long pants and sleeves, ensuring screens

are in good repair and removing standing water from your property to

prevent mosquitoes from breeding, until there has been a killing frost


“This is a sad reminder that we are not out of the woods yet as far as

mosquito diseases while the weather continues to stay moderate,” said Dr.

José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “Leaf season is a great

time to get outside but we urge residents and visitors to use an effective

repellent when doing so.”

Any horse that resides in or travels to New Hampshire during mosquito

season is at risk of becoming infected with EEE or West Nile Virus (WNV).

Because of this risk, it is recommended that horse owners consult with

their veterinarians to discuss appropriate vaccination schedules based on

their risk factors.

EEE is a more serious disease in people than WNV and carries a high

mortality rate for those who contract the serious encephalitis form of the

illness. Symptoms of EEE may include high fever, severe headache, stiff

neck, and sore throat. There is no treatment for the disease, which can in

some cases lead to seizures and coma. Symptoms usually occur 4 to 10 days

after being bitten. If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like

symptoms, including fever and headache, contact your local medical


For more information about EEE and West Nile Virus visit the DHHS website

at and the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention website at For questions

contact the DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.

# # #

Prevention Guidelines for West Nile Virus and

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus

NH Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health


1. Eliminate standing water and other mosquito breeding locations.

In warm weather, mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts more than 4


· Remove old tires from your property.

· Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or other

containers. Don’t overlook containers that have become overgrown

by aquatic vegetation.

· Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left


· Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.

· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and hot tubs. If not in use,

keep empty and covered and keep covers free of standing water.

· Aerate garden ponds or stock them with fish.

· Turn over wheelbarrows and change water in birdbaths at least

twice weekly.

· Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.

· Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their


2. Be aware of where mosquitoes live and breed and keep them from entering

your home.

· Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Weeds, tall grass, and

bushes provide an outdoor home for adult mosquitoes, including

several species commonly associated with West Nile Virus and Eastern

Equine Encephalitis Virus.

· Mosquitoes can enter homes through unscreened windows or doors, or

broken screens. Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting

screens. Repair or replace all screens in your home that have tears

or holes.

· Resting mosquitoes can often be flushed from indoor resting sites by

using sweeping motions under beds, behind bedside tables etc. and

once in flight, exterminated prior to sleeping at night.

3. Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

· If outside during evening, nighttime, and dawn hours when mosquitoes

are most active and likely to bite, children and adults should wear

protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and


· Consider the use of an effective insect repellent, such as one

containing DEET. A repellent containing 30% or less DEET

(N,N-diethyl-methyl-meta-toluamide) for children and adults. Use DEET

according to the manufacturer's directions. Children should not apply

DEET to themselves. Repellents that contain Picaridin or oil of lemon

eucalyptus have also been determined to be effective.

· Vitamin B, ultrasonic devices, incense, and bug zappers have not been

shown to be effective in preventing mosquito bites.

For more information on West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Virus, call the NH Department of Health and Human Services toll-free West

Nile Virus Information Line at

866–273–NILE (6543), or visit the West Nile Virus Website at