Flu Season Picks Up Steam, Vaccinations Still Available [AUDIO]
After a slow start, flu season has officially arrived. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an uptick in the number of influenza-positive samples - 10.5 percent in the first week of February, compared to 7.6 percent during the last week of January.
"Right now, we're starting to see influenza-like illness pick up in New Jersey," said State Epidemiologist Tina Tan. "We did also have the late start as what was seen in the rest of the country."
Tan said the influenza virus, in general, is unpredictable. While experts have said the typical flu season runs from October to March, it could last until May. For that reason, Tan has continued to advise New Jersey residents to receive a flu vaccination if they haven't already done so.
She continued, "Even though we're halfway through winter right now, we still do encourage people getting their flu vaccine right now. "It's not too late."
Tan noted vaccinations can take a week or two to kick in.
There are other preventative measures outside of the vaccine, though. Tan encouraged people to stay home when they are sick, whether they are suffering from influenza or other illnesses.
Also, she said people should wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs, as well as cover their coughs and sneezes.