Slow Start For the Flu in NJ, But Peak Season is Here
The flu season has not been very eventful so far in New Jersey, but chances are, the worst is yet to come.
This time last year, the influenza activity level was considered 'high' by state health officials. As of right now, it's "moderate."
State Epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan, though, said New Jersey is starting to see increased flu activity.
"January-February is peak flu season," Tan said in an emailed statement.
According to Dr. Howard Rubinstein, an urgent care physician in Manalapan, flu-like symptoms have been popping up at a slower pace than last year, but the virus has not truly hit the state just yet.
New Jersey experienced the warmest December on record, but the temperatures are finally taking a dive, meaning more people are hanging indoors, making them more vulnerable to the virus.
"The flu is very infectious so you're going to get it if you don't get vaccinated," Rubinstein said.
Flu activity may also be off to a slower start this season, Tan said, because the current vaccine is a better match for the flu strains in circulation, compared to last year's vaccine.
A mutation of the virus during last year's flu season resulted in a decline in the vaccine's efficacy.
"A flu shot is your best protection against the flu," Tan added. "It's never too late to get a flu shot."