Jan 8, 2015 4:17 PM
Flu-related deaths common, hard to track
CONCORD- As first confirmed by NH1 News, the state has seen its first flu death of the season.
The Department of Health and Human Services does not release information about patients who die from the flu, they'll only say it was an adult male from Hillsborough County.
The state does not typically report adult flu deaths as they're fairly common especially in patients with underlying health issues. They do record and report pediatric flu deaths, which we have not seen in the Granite State this year.
According to DHHS, this year's vaccine may not be as effective with the particular strain of the flu that's going around.
State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan says it's close to impossible to predict what strains need to be in the vaccine, but nevertheless getting vaccinated is your best protection against getting infected.
Dr. Chan says the state's first flu death of the season may have been reported this week, but it may not have actually been the first.
"There was recently reported the first identified death related to the flu. That was based on death certificate review. That may not have been the first there may have been others in the past that the death certificate review showed pneumonia or some other cause of death where flu may have been a complicating factor it may not have been recorded accurately," Chan said.
Along with getting vaccinated Dr. Chan says the other most important thing you can do is keep up with hand washing. If you get the flu, it's best to stay home to keep from spreading it.