Flu season has begun in New Hampshire.
The Department of Health and Human Services says three adults tested positive for influenza, one each in Carroll, Grafton and Hillsborough counties.
It’s the fourth year in a row the state has found flu cases before the season’s traditional start date of October.
State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan says an early start means it’s important to get the word out quickly. “The reason for the announcement is simply to notify health care providers and communities that we’re starting to see the virus circulating, and so people should take precautions,” Chan said. “And the best way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinated.”
The vaccine is available to residents age 6 months or older. Chan says vaccine makers have made several changes to this year’s flu shots and sprays, because of concerns that last year’s formulations didn’t work well enough against some of the most prevalent flu strains.
The state saw 49 flu-related deaths in adults during the last flu season, the highest number since it began tracking flu deaths in 1999.