The Flu Remains Very Active in New Jersey
The calendar suggests flu season is halfway done, but influenza-like activity is still abundant in the Garden State, health officials say.
According to the latest weekly surveillance report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the spread of flu remains "widespread" in New Jersey.
While the report noted the illness still hits hard in many states, it would appear from the findings that the spread of flu is slowing down from week to week.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan said there has been a decrease in flu-like activity in emergency rooms and long-term care facilities, but it's too early to tell whether New Jersey is participating in the "slow down."
"It's still the middle of January," she said. "There could be increases in activity at any time."
State health officials don't monitor individual cases of influenza, but they do track pediatric deaths. So far this season, which runs from October to March, flu has not been linked to any child deaths in New Jersey. Nationwide, there have 56 pediatric deaths.
Even though this year's vaccinations failed to attack a very active strain of flu, Tan said this season has not been worse than others, except for an early start to increased activity.
"We've been predominantly seeing type A, H3N2, circulate in the community," she said. "Toward the end of the flu season, we tend to see type B increase. We won't know…what the B activity is going to be like a little bit later."
Tan said as long as there is flu circulating in a community, it's not too late to get a flu shot.