H1N1 update

Please note the updated information on H1N1.  We hope to have some clinics in Rochester before the Holiday break. The clinics would be for anyone ages 6 months to 24 years of age, and adults with underlying medical conditions. 

We will advertise the times and locations as soon as they are scheduled. 

DHHS Expands H1N1 Vaccination to Additional Priority Groups

 Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today announced the expansion of H1N1 vaccination to include additional groups of people at risk for complications from the H1N1 influenza. 

 Based on the amount of H1N1 vaccine expected to come into New Hampshire, the following groups are now eligible to receive the H1N1 vaccine: 

  •  Anyone between the ages of 6 months to 24 years of age
  • Adults 25 through 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions

 In addition, the following groups remain eligible to receive the vaccine:

  •  Health care workers with direct patient contact
  • Pregnant women
  • People caring for or living with infants younger than 6 months old (including partners of pregnant women)

 “We have reached another critical point in the vaccination process,” said Public Health Director Dr José Montero.  “Now that we have been able to vaccinate most of those in the initial targeted groups we can direct the incoming vaccine to those who remain at highest risk for complications from this illness.  We strongly encourage all those who are in these groups to get vaccinated as it is the single best way to prevent H1N1.”

 “As we work to reach additional populations, we anticipate starting to schedule school-based clinics because this will be the most efficient and effective way to reach children,” said Montero.  “We have been working with the Department of Education, the school districts and private schools, planning for this scenario.  However, we want to remind people this process will take some time; there will be a limited number of school-based clinics held next week with the full schedule starting the week of December 14th.” 

 The school-based clinics will be held along with clinics that are already being organized through the State’s All Health Hazard Regions.

 In addition to expanding the priority groups for vaccination, DHHS is declaring a Public Health Incident relative to H1N1.  This declaration is an effort to proactively address the State’s ongoing response to H1N1; specifically it will allow DHHS to seek outside assistance in its response efforts. 

For additional H1N1 resources and information about clinics visit www.nh.gov or call the NH Public

Inquiry line between 8 and 5 by dialing 2-1-1 or 866-444-4211.  Additional H1N1 resources are available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov and the US Department of Health and Human Services at www.flu.gov.

H1N1 update

The H1N1 updates should now be entitled influenza like illness (ILI).  In most cases, the H1N1 test is not given to a patient showing flu symptoms.  The patient is told to stay home, take normal precautions, and return to work or school after they are free of symptoms for 24 hours. 

We are tracking the ILI symptoms at each school for staff and students.  If there are any major changes, I will post information on this site. 

The immunizations should be ready the first week of October, but women who are pregnant, and health care workers will be the first to get the shots.  It may be months before the general population is eligible for the shots.

H1N1 update

I have listed below the recommendations from the CDC on preparation for the H1N1 virus during the next school year.  The recommendations change on a regular basis.  We will be closely monitoring the situation throughout the school year. 

We should have new hand sanitizers in cafeterias, locker rooms and nurse’s rooms before the start of Fall classes.  We will also emphasis hand washing with all students during the Fall and Winter months. 

CDC Guidance for State and Local Public Health Officials and School Administrators for School (K-12) Responses to Influenza during the 2009-2010 School Year

 The guidance is designed to decrease exposure to regular seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu while limiting the disruption of day-to-day activities and the vital learning that goes on in schools. CDC will continue to monitor the situation and update the current guidance as more information is obtained on 2009 H1N1.

About 55 million students and 7 million staff attend the more than 130,000 public and private schools in the United States each day. By implementing these recommendations, schools and health officials can help protect one-fifth of the country’s population from flu. Collaboration is essential: CDC, the U.S. Department of Education, state and local public health and education agencies, schools, students, staff, families, businesses, and communities all have active roles to play.

Recommended school responses for the 2009-2010 school year

Under conditions with similar severity as in spring 2009

  • Stay home when sick Those with flu-like illness should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. They should stay home even if they are using antiviral drugs.
  • Separate ill students and staff Students and staff who appear to have flu-like illness should be sent to a room separate from others until they can be sent home. CDC recommends that they wear a surgical mask, if possible, and that those who care for ill students and staff wear protective gear such as a mask.
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette: The new recommendations emphasize the importance of the basic foundations of influenza prevention: stay home when sick, wash hands frequently with soap and water when possible, and cover noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or a shirt sleeve or elbow if no tissue is available).
  • Routine cleaning: School staff should routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often with the cleaners they typically use. Special cleaning with bleach and other non-detergent-based cleaners is not necessary.
  • Early treatment of high-risk students and staff: People at high risk for influenza complications who become ill with influenza-like illness should speak with their health care provider as soon as possible.  Early treatment with antiviral medications is very important for people at high risk because it can prevent hospitalizations and deaths. People at high risk include those who are pregnant, have asthma or diabetes, have compromised immune systems, or have neuromuscular diseases.
  • Consideration of selective school dismissal:  Although there are not many schools where all or most students are at high risk (for example, schools for medically fragile children or for pregnant students) a community might decide to dismiss such a school to better protect these high-risk students.