DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Health

January 10, 2013

Flu keeps local doctors, nurses busy

(Continued)

As the flu spreads across the country, doctors’ offices and pharmacies are seeing large numbers of people getting flu shots.

“People are still coming in,” said Tyler Davis, pharmacy manager at CVS in Derry.

“It’s never too late to get a shot,” Adamski said.

Everyone over 6 months old should be vaccinated, she said.

Although flu season started in late September, a few weeks earlier than usual, the virus didn’t become widespread in New Hampshire until about three weeks ago, Adamski said.

“It really is a high number for one month, but it may be all we get this year,” Adamski said.

A couple other flu-related deaths were reported earlier in the season, she said.

There can be 20 to 35 flu-related deaths one year and only a handful the next, Adamski said.

She said it’s too early in the season to make predictions on how serious it could become.

One positive sign is that the vaccine has been proven to be effective in combatting the strain.

That wasn’t the case three years ago when the H1N1 flu virus struck, according to Garrett Simonsen, coordinator of the Greater Derry Public Health Network.

A new vaccine had to be manufactured because the previous one was ineffective, he said.

By the time the new vaccine was available, it was too late. Thousands of people in New Hampshire and across the country were seriously ill with the flu.

“It was a unique strain,” he said.

Adamski and Simonsen said there is no way of knowing at this point if the latest outbreak will be as serious as H1N1.

“It’s too early to make final assessments,” Adamski said.

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