State health officials: Five flu-related deaths in NH this season
By PAUL FEELY New Hampshire Union Leader
CONCORD — State health officials report there have been five flu-related deaths in New Hampshire this season.
In their weekly influenza activity report, state health officials categorize the outbreak of the disease in the Granite State as “regional,” while the spread of influenza has been labeled “widespread” in 46 other states, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC). New Hampshire is currently one of only four states in the country — along with Maine, Hawaii and New Jersey — where the spread influenza is categorized as “regional.”
Five adult influenza-related deaths have been identified so far this influenza season in New Hampshire. According to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, the deceased adults lived in Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford counties. No influenza-related child deaths have been reported in New Hampshire as of Dec. 30, the most recent data avaialble from the state.
Elsewhere in the country, 91 people have died from the flu this influenza season, including 27 people under the age of 65, according to the CDPC. In San Diego county, 46 people have died from the flu.
Many of the confirmed flu cases involve a strain known as H3N2, which health officials warn doesn’t respond well to flu vaccinations, though they still encourage people to get flu shots. The strain is considered especially dangerous to young children and older adults over the age of 65.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, body aches, headaches and fatigue. If a child has trouble breathing, has bluish skin, or is not waking up or interacting, get immediate medical attention. In each of the past several flu seasons, at least 100 children have died, according to CDC data.
Immediate medical attention is also advised if an adult has difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, has sudden dizziness or confusion, is severely or persistently vomiting, or improves but then gets worse.