Flu activity starting to spike in NJ, health officials say
Compared to the same time last year, flu activity in New Jersey is at a reasonable level, but according to health officials, activity is starting to pick up statewide.
"We are starting to see an uptick in flu, in general, across the state," State Epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan told New Jersey 101.5.
In its latest weekly report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited an increase in flu activity on the national level as well.
Flu activity, according to the New Jersey Department of Health, is currently considered "moderate" statewide, compared to "high" during the same week last year.
However, the latest surveillance report points to high activity in Bergen and Essex counties. The least activity has been registered from Burlington County to Cape May County.
"The regional activity can vary from week to week," Tan said. "Here in New Jersey, as with everywhere, we don't respect borders sometimes."
The state doesn't track individual cases of the flu, but officials do monitor flu-like illness indicators in schools, emergency rooms and long-term care facilities.
Peak flu season in New Jersey is January-February, according to health officials.
According to Tan, the evidence so far suggests this year's flu vaccine is an adequate match for strains of the virus in the community. A mutation of the virus during last year's flu season resulted in a decline in the vaccine's efficacy.
The flu can hang around until April or May. Tan said as long as it's circulating in the community, it's never too late to get a flu shot.