TRENTON — Flu season has arrived around the country and New Jersey is among several states with moderate flu activity, with Central and North Jersey reporting the most cases.

Here are the county totals reported by the state Department of Health:

  • Monmouth — 135
  • Essex — 61
  • Ocean — 50
  • Bergen — 46
  • Passaic _ 34
  • Morris — 33
  • Hudson — 27
  • Atlantic — 26
  • Union —16
  • Camden — 15
  • Mercer — 13
  • Sussex — 13
  • Gloucester — 11
  • Hunterdon — 10
  • Middlesex — 4
  • Burlington — 3
  • Cape May — 1
  • Cumberland — 0
  • Salem — 0
  • Somerset – 0
  • Warren — 0

Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Utah are also having moderate influenza activity, according to the CDC.

“We kind of expect to start to see an increase in activity at this time of the year. We peak around January, February, here in New Jersey,” state epidemiologist Tina Tan said earlier.

The most common strain of flu in New Jersey and throughout the country continues to be the H3N2 strain. It's symptoms are the usual fever, runny nose, body aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Some variants of H3N2 can also cause severe disease in healthy people and can be spread more easily from pigs to humans.

The best defense against the flu, according to Tan, is frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes.

“It is definitely not too late to get the flu vaccine. As long as there’s flu circulating in the community you should get the flu vaccine. It’s the most important step you can take to protect yourself from getting influenza.”