Local Health Updates


Information on H1N1 (Swine Flu)

It is important that people get the H1N1 vaccine because health officials have stated there is a possibility of a third wave of H1N1 this winter. The CDC states that “A flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu infection.” http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm In addition to getting the H1N1 vaccine, people should continue to practice other methods of prevention (see http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm “What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?”)

On December 17, 2009, the state of New Hampshire announced the move to Phase IV (general population) of the NH DHHS H1N1 vaccine distribution plan. All New Hampshire residents ages 6 months and older are now eligible to receive the H1N1 vaccine.

The Greater Monadnock Public Health Network is committed to reaching the public with timely health information through a variety of media channels. Press releases and public services announcements about H1N1 vaccine clinics and other pertinent public health information will be sent regularly to local newspapers, radio stations and television stations.

People who have not yet received the vaccine are encouraged to come to a free clinic to be immunized. Both nasal mist and injectable vaccine will be available at these clinics. Parents of children less than 10 years of age should remember that their child will need a booster H1N1 vaccine 28 days after receiving the first H1N1 vaccine.

The Greater Monadnock Public Health Network is also working with school nurses and superintendents for SAUs 1, 24, 29, 38, 47, 60 and 87 to provide school-based clinics for students. School-based clinics are designed for students and staff (and in some cases parents) but are not open to the general public. Schools will notify parents of future school-based clinics. Parents can also go to the NH DHHS H1N1 Influenza Resource website’s “Where Can I Get My H1N1 Vaccine?” page (link: http://www.nh.gov/h1n1/vaccine.htm) and then click on the link for List of School H1N1 clinics. They can also search on www.google.com/flushot

People can also get information about upcoming H1N1 clinics through email alerts, websites, and telephone hotlines. Please see below for more information:

Email:

People may sign up to receive emails about H1N1 flu clinics by going to www.cheshiremed.org , clicking on the Seasonal and H1N1 Flu Clinics tab, and then entering their email address under Sign Up to Receive H1N1 and Seasonal Flu Vaccine Clinic Info.

Websites:

Telephone:

  • 211 or 1-866-444-4211
  • CMC/DHK H1N1 Flu vaccine info: 603-354-5405 Option #2
  • CMC/DHK Pediatric Flu Clinic vaccine info: 603-354-6665
  • 603-354-5454 Ext. 3030 – direct line for Amanda N. Gaspard , MPH (Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the GMPHN)
  • 603-354-6836 – main GMPHN line

All H1N1 vaccines are offered in accordance with New Hampshire’s vaccination distribution plan (See: www.nh.gov/H1N1)

Both the H1N1 and seasonal vaccines have been show to be safe. The only people who should not get a flu vaccine are those who are allergic to eggs, anyone who has had a serious reaction to a flu shot in the past, anyone with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, and children younger than 6 months old. Even if you have already had flu-like symptoms you should still be immunized. There are many different strains of influenza. You may or may not have had the strain the vaccine is intended to protect against. It’s also possible to get sick again.

If you think you have the flu, the best place for you to be is at home.  Take the time to let the illness run its course. Don’t rush your recovery. The best way to ensure your health, as well as your family’s and friends’ wellness, is to take care of yourself.

·       Stay home from work or school until your fever has been gone for least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.

·       Stay away from others.

·       Get plenty of rest.

·       Drink clear fluids. 

·        Wear a face mask if you have to go in the public.

·        Drink from your own container.

.           If you are pregnant or have a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or emphysema, check with your health care provider and ask if you need any special care.

Anyone who gets the flu should watch for signs that the illness is getting worse. Call your doctor if you experience or observe any of these warning signs. 

o       Adults:

.         Shortness of breath or respiratory distress

.         Fever greater than 100 degrees for more than 3 days

.         Chest or abdominal pain

.         Lightheadedness

.          Disorientation or confusion

o       Children:

.         Difficulty breathing

.         Blue skin color

.         Unable to keep liquids down

.         Extreme drowsiness, listlessness, or sluggishness

These warning signs could mean a person is developing complications to the flu, which should be taken seriously.

For more information, treatment resources, or other assistance, call 2-1-1 (in NH) or 1-866-444-4211 (all other states) any time of day or visit www.211nh.org. You can also visit websites for Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (CMD/DHK) (www.cheshiremed.org) or the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network (GMPHN) (http://co.cheshire.nh.us/PublicHealth/). CMC/DHK and GMPHN work together to plan and protect public health and safety in concert with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (www.nh.gov/h1n1). The GMPHN is housed by Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene and in collaboration with Cheshire County is financed under an agreement with the State of New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services, and Division of Public Health Services with funds provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Together CMC/DHK and GMPHN will offer updates on flu season preventions and precautions for the Monadnock Region. For flu clinic information any time of day or night, call Cheshire Medical/Center Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene’s information lines. 

H1N1 Flu vaccine info: 354-5405 Option #2
Pediatric Flu Clinic Hotline: 354-6665