Disease Info & Management
Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) of animals and people. This disease is caused by a virus and is almost always fatal. Rabies in humans is rare in the U.S., but rabies in certain animals, especially wildlife, is common throughout the country.
MRSA Skin Infections
MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics. In the general community, MRSA most often causes skin infections. In some cases, it causes pneumonia (lung infection) and other issues. If left untreated, MRSA infections can become severe and cause sepsis - a life-threatening reaction to severe infection in the body.
Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with avian flu viruses have occurred.
The Portsmouth Health Department is monitoring the Swine Flu situation and will update the website as necessary. The same measures you should use in everyday living will also help protect you in the event that Swine Flu, or any other flu reaches your area. They are:
- Cover your cough or sneeze, then take a break to wash your hands thoroughly.
- If you are ill, stay home, don't spread germs.
- If you are having symptoms suggestive of flu, such as fever, cough, achiness, headache, chills, fatigue,vomiting or diarrhea, see your physician.
- Although we do not recommend the daily use of alcohol-based sanitizers, carrying them with you for use during a flu outbreak is a good idea. Place a bottle on your desk, at your service counter, or carry one in your purse or brief case. For those who spend a good deal of time in a vehicle, just be aware that very hot temperatures can denature some sanitizers.
For further information and updates, please go to
Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), babesiosis (Babesia microti and other species), anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), and Powassan virus are transmitted by the bite of the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), also known as the blacklegged tick. Although these ticks have a 2-year life cycle, the greatest risk for human acquisition of tickborne diseases is between May and August when the aggressive nymph stage of the blacklegged tick is active. Nymphs are very small (< 2mm) and easy to miss unless they become engorged with blood.
Substance Abuse Disorders
The NH Alcohol and Drug Treatment Locator website lists treatment agencies and individual practitioners offering substance use disorder services, including evaluation (this is the first step to determine level of treatment needed), withdrawal management (detoxification), outpatient counseling, residential treatment, recovery supports and other types of services.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or if you or someone you know is experiencing a substance use or addiction-related crisis, call 1-844-711-HELP (4357).
Safe Harbor is a peer-led recovery center in Portsmouth. It is a resource open to anyone impacted by addiction – including family and friends of those most keenly affected.
The recovery model is peer and community driven. Based on conversations with key community and public health leaders to date, the services to be provided by SHRC include the following:
- Recovery Coaching, Peer Support & Support Groups, Family Education & Support Workshops and Resources
- Prevention, Health and Wellness Programs
- Recreational Activities and Sober Events
- Private Coaching Sessions
- Vocational Training and Job Placement, Volunteer Activities
Granite State Pathways has launched Regional Access Point Services to assist those seeking help. Regional Access Point Services is a statewide network, accessible by phone or in person, to help New Hampshire residents struggling with addiction, to get the timely, supportive services they need; helping both individuals and families navigate the complex systems of care to real solutions.
Granite Pathways has skilled and experienced staff who are knowledgeable about the statewide resources, are caring and who understand how hard it is to ask for help.