Flu season is upon us and hitting its peak across Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Thursday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human services has confirmed the first flu-related death in the Granite State.
State health officials are hoping the unfortunate news of that flu-related death will encourage people to get a flu shot.
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Inside Convenient MD in Exeter, mom Katie Warburton is desperately hoping for some relief for her little girl.
“She doesn’t want to get up and play, I just want her to be happy again that’s the goal,” Warburton said.
Two-year-old Riley has flu-like symptoms.
“Coughing and getting sick at night,” Warburton said. “This year, for some reason, it’s been really, really bad.”
According to the CDC, the flu is now widespread in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
And with flu season hitting its peak locally, doctors say parents should have their sick children seen right away.
“Medication given to help treat influenza is most effective if given in first 24-48 hours,” said Convenient MD Regional Medical Director Dr. Jo Gates.
She says that’s also true for elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions.
“Influenza does kill people,” Dr. Gates said.
Because of that, Dr. Gates wants families to know what to look out for. She says despite common misconceptions, having the “flu” doesn’t mean you have to be nauseous.
“In general, it’s like the worst cold you’ve ever had,” Dr. Gates said. “Congestion and cough, and usually a sore throat and headache at some point during the illness.”
She says the best way to protect yourself is with the flu vaccine.
“You won’t be as sick and you are far less likely to die,” she said.
Hampton resident Casey Ward says take it from him – the flu shot works.
“I got it for the first time ever,” he said. “I’ve always been against it, but this is the first year, I did not get sick.”
Dr. Gates says it’s not too late to get your vaccine. She thinks this flu season will last well into March.