First Confirmed Cases of Influenza in New Hampshire

The NH DHHS issued a health alert on September 17 regarding the first cases of influenza in New Hampshire for the 2015-2016 season.

NH Division of Public Health Services (NH DPHS) draws your attention to the following:

Key Points and Recommendations:

1.Three cases of influenza virus infection have been confirmed in New Hampshire for the 2015-2016 influenza season.

2.The composition of the influenza vaccine has changed this year, and healthcare providers should be aware of this change and review the updated influenza immunization recommendations.

3.Healthcare providers should encourage influenza vaccination for everyone six months of age or older (without a medical contraindication).

4.Healthcare providers should review the guidelines for treatment of suspected or confirmed influenza with antiviral medications (neuraminidase inhibitors), which have been shown to reduce duration of symptoms and influenza-related complications when administered early.

5.Influenza testing can be performed on clinical specimens at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).To acquire influenza specimen collection kits, contact the NH Public Health Laboratories office at 1-800-852-3345, extension 4605, or 603-271-4605.

6.Healthcare facilities, schools, and other institutional settings should report all suspected outbreaks of respiratory illness to the NH DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496 (after hours 603-271-5300).

NH DPHS will continue to update you throughout this influenza season when we have new data to share about circulating strains of influenza in New Hampshire, antiviral susceptibilities, or increased rates of illness. Please contact us directly with any questions about influenza or if we can help with your response during this current season.

a. For additional information on the 2015-2016 Influenza Season from CDC refer to their website at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm

b. For any questions regarding the contents of this message, please contact NH DHHS, DPHS, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496 (after hours 1-800-852-3345 ext.5300).

Click here for the full DHHS Health Alert.