Flu cases rising in North Country, especially among children

By | March 29, 2022

Manchester, NH –
Some north country cities are dealing with flu outbreaks, and health officials said the majority of cases are being seen in children.

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

Flu cases rising in North Country, especially among children

Flu cases rising in North Country, especially among children

“Just last week, there were 31 cases of flu identified by tests at our clinics, so to put that in perspective, we’ll typically see half of that in a full year,” said Coos County Chief Operating Officer Valerie Hart. Family Health Services.

Hart said the region has a low number of COVID-19 cases, but COVID-19 mitigation strategies, such as easing of masking, have opened doors for all viruses, especially in children.

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

Dr Justin Kim, an epidemiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, said another reason for the rise in cases could be a less effective flu shot.

“Unfortunately, the flu mutates fairly easily, and the only information we really have is based on past flu seasons, so if there’s no previous flu season, you have a little less information,” he said.

Still, Kim said the flu vaccine is still highly recommended.

“I think vaccination for the flu has an even greater benefit than the COVID vaccine,” he said.

Hart said Coos County Family Health is testing a lot of sick patients for flu and COVID-19. Kim said it was extremely unlikely that someone would be infected with both at the same time.

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