CONCORD — The first positive test of influenza for this flu season was confirmed by the Department of Health of Human Services, the department announced Friday.
"This positive lab result for influenza in a New Hampshire resident is slightly earlier than average but about the same time as last year," state Public Health Director Dr. José Montero said in a statement. "Every flu season is different and flu is very unpredictable, but I want to remind everyone that we had an unusually severe season last winter in New Hampshire and across the country.
"I encourage everyone to take steps now to get vaccinated and protect yourself and your loved ones for the season ahead."
The flu can be a serious disease of the lungs, nose and throat, a DHHS release said. The illness is spread through coughing and sneezing.
Typical symptoms include fever, headache, exhaustion, 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 and 44 people, including three children, died of the flu last year in New Hampshire, the release said.
DHHS encouraged people to obtain the flu vaccine.