Is the Flu Season Over in NJ? Encouraging Signs
At the beginning of this month influenza activity in all parts of the Garden State was high, but that’s no longer the case and some are wondering if the flu season has already peaked.
According to state epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan, influenza activity in New Jersey is now moderate, except in the southeastern section of the state where it’s low.
She said the trend is encouraging but “we’re not entirely sure if we’ve peaked yet in our flu season because as we know with flu, it’s always unpredictable so it’s unclear whether we’re going to see an increase in activity later this season.”
Tan pointed out “during the flu season there are a variety of different flu viruses that circulate, so it will depend on whether another flu type becomes predominant.”
Why has influenza activity declined in the past few weeks?
Dr. Tan said no one knows for sure but “increased precautions because of COVID, specifically because of increases in omicron activity, certainly could have impacted flu activity."
She said for both COVID and influenza infections, wearing a mask and social distancing helps to limit virus transmission.
Too late for a flu shot?
Dr. Tan said even though flu season has been going for quite a while, “as long as flu is circulating in the community it is definitely not too late to get the flu shot."
Tan said the predominant strain that has been circulating, influenza A3HN2, can cause significant illness in the very young and old, so it’s important to make sure young children and the elderly get their flu shot.
She said Health Department is continuing to monitor influenza data at nursing home and schools across the state.