Flu cases rising in NH’s North Country, especially among children

VIRUSES. NORTH COUNTRY TOWNS LIKE GORHAM AND BERLIN ARE CURRENTLY DEANGLI WITH AF OLUUTBREAK. >> JUST LAST WEEK WE HAD 31 CASES OF FLU IDENTIFIED BY TESTS IN OUR CLINICS, SO JUST TOUT THAT IN PERSPECTIVE, WE WOULD NORMALLY SEE ABOUT HALF OF THAT IN AN ENTIRE YR.EA JAN:SO VALERIE HART, THE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER AT COOS COUNTY FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES, SAYS THE NUMBER OF COVID CASES INHE T AREA ARE VERY LOW, BUT THE EASE OF COVID MITIGATION, LEIK MASKING, HAS OPENED THE DOOR FOR ALL VIRUSES, ESPECIALLY IN KIDS. >> PEOPLE ARE FEELING A LOT MORE RELAXED. SO THE BIRTHDAY PARTY THAT THEY MAY NOT HAVE EVEN CONSIDEDER SENDING THEIR CHILD TO THEY LLWI READILY DO THAT NOW. JAN:SO DR. JUSTIN KI ANM, EPIDEMIOLOGIST AT DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK MEDICAL CENTER, SAYS ANOTHER CAUSE FOR INCREASED CASE NUMBERS COULD BE A LESS EFFECTIVE FLU SHOT. >> UNFORTUNATELY, THE FLU MUTATES QUITE READILY AND THE ONLY INFORMATION WE REALLY HAVE IS BASED ON THE PREVIOUSLU SEASON, SO IF THERE’S NO PREVIOUS FLU SEASON THENOU Y HAVE A BIT LESS INFORMATION. JASON: EVEN STILL, DR. KIM SAYS THE FLU VACCINE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AND SOME STUDIES SHOW IT CAEVN IN PROVIDE ADDITIONAL HEALTH BENEFITS. >> I THINK THE VACCINATION FOR FLU HAS EVEN MORE MILEAGE THAN THE COVID VACCINE. JAN:SO COOS COUNTY FAMILY HEALTH IS DOING A LOT OF TESTING THEES DAYS TESTI SNGICK PATIENTS FOR , BOTH THE FLU AND COV,ID DR. KIM SAYS THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT IT IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT SOMEONE WOULD BE INFECTED

Flu cases rising in North Country, especially among children

Health officials say easing of COVID-19 mitigation measures allows flu to spread more easily

Some North Country towns are dealing with a flu outbreak, and health officials said most of the cases are being seen in children.COVID-19 mitigation strategies essentially halted the spread of the flu virus over the past two years. Experts said that now that those strategies are easing, the door is open for the flu and other viruses.”Just last week, we had 31 cases of flu identified by tests in our clinics, so just to put that in perspective, we would normally see about half of that in an entire year,” said Valerie Hart, chief operating officer of Coos County Family Health Services. Hart said the number of COVID-19 cases in the area is low, but easing COVID-19 mitigation strategies, such as masking, has opened the door for all viruses, especially in children.”People are feeling a lot more relaxed, so the birthday party that they may not have even considered sending their child to, they will readily do that now,” Hart said. dr. Justin Kim, an epidemiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, said another cause for increased case numbers could be a less effective flu shot.”Unfortunately, the flu mutates quite readily, and the only information we really have is based on the previous flu season , so if there’s no previous flu season, then you have a bit less information,” he said. Even so, Kim said the flu vaccine is still highly recommended.”I think the vaccination for flu has even more mileage than the COVID vaccine, ” he said. Hart said Coos County Family Health is doing a lot of testing of sick patients for the flu and COVID-19. Kim said it’s highly unlikely someone would be infected by both at the same time.

Some North Country towns are dealing with a flu outbreak, and health officials said most of the cases are being seen in children.

COVID-19 mitigation strategies essentially halted the spread of the flu virus over the past two years. Experts said that now that those strategies are easing, the door is open for the flu and other viruses.

“Just last week, we had 31 cases of flu identified by tests in our clinics, so just to put that in perspective, we would normally see about half of that in an entire year,” said Valerie Hart, chief operating officer of Coos County Family Health Services.

Hart said the number of COVID-19 cases in the area is low, but easing COVID-19 mitigation strategies, such as masking, has opened the door for all viruses, especially in children.

“People are feeling a lot more relaxed, so the birthday party that they may not have even considered sending their child to, they will readily do that now,” Hart said.

Dr. Justin Kim, an epidemiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, said another cause for increased case numbers could be a less effective flu shot.

“Unfortunately, the flu mutates quite readily, and the only information we really have is based on the previous flu season, so if there’s no previous flu season, then you have a bit less information,” he said.

Even so, Kim said the flu vaccine is still highly recommended.

“I think the vaccination for flu has even more mileage than the COVID vaccine,” he said.

Hart said Coos County Family Health is doing a lot of testing of sick patients for the flu and COVID-19. Kim said it’s highly unlikely someone would be infected by both at the same time.

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