TRENTON — New Jersey has officially reported just one influenza-related death this season, but the Garden State has not been totally immune to the most pronounced flu outbreak in the United States in close to a decade.

The Daily Record reported that several hospitals and systems across the state — Atlantic Health, Hackensack Meridian, Saint Clare's Health, Valley Health, and both Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, at least — are now asking all child visitors, as well as adult visitors who may be sick, to stay home.

In the third week of 2018, the most recent timeframe available to the CDC according to Fortune, 4,068 people in the U.S. died from either influenza or pneumonia, or 1 out of every 10 deaths in the country. The Fortune report said the CDC only started counting deaths caused by the flu in children in 2004; New Jersey's sole death so far was that of a 4-year-old girl.

As reported by CNN, the CDC cited updated statistics in saying that flu-related hospitalizations rose in the fifth week of the year to 60 out of every 100,000. That includes the potential for record numbers in the 55-to-64-year-old age bracket.

Deaths from this outbreak are expected to zoom past that of the swine flu epidemic in 2009 and 2010, Fortune reported.

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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