The Calendar Says Spring But Flu is Still Making New Jersey Sick
A few weeks ago, influenza levels in some parts of Jersey dropped from high to moderate, sparking hopes of an early end to flu season this year.
Unfortunately, those hopes have been dashed.
"The latest information is that we’re seeing widespread flu activity still throughout the state," said state epidemiologist Tina Tan.
"It looks like a lot of this might be related to type AH3 activity that we’re seeing in the rest of the country."
She explained earlier this flu season H1N1 flu, also known as swine flu, was circulating. But now, as that diminishes, AH3 flu activity is picking up.
So far this season, four pediatric flu deaths have been reported. Last year, the state reported three pediatric influenza deaths.
"We do expect, unfortunately, to see a number of pediatric flu deaths every single year whether in New Jersey or nationwide. That’s why it’s such a reminder for us that we all should try to get vaccinated," Tan said.
She explained even though spring has sprung, "as long as flu is circulating in the community, we do advise that if you haven’t already gotten the flu shot to get the flu shot."
So how long will flu season last this year?
"It’s hard to tell what the rest of the flu season is going to look like, but traditionally what we have seen in New Jersey is the flu season tends to wind down around May," she said.