The latest influenza surveillance data from the state Health Department shows more and more Garden State residents are continuing to come down with the flu. But there is some good news.

The number of confirmed laboratory influenza cases in counties across New Jersey rose only 6.6 percent over the past week, compared with an increase of 14.1 percent the previous week, which suggests the flu epidemic is slowing down.

New Jersey state epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan says it’s also important to note “for the second week in a row, New Jersey is seeing a decline in our flu activity mainly around emergency room visits and emergency department admissions.”

According to the new data, New Jersey has had 21,831 confirmed influenza cases since the beginning of October, compared to 9,969 confirmed influenza cases last year at this time.

According to Tan, the flu season could wind up stretching into May.

“That means people will still possibly get infected with influenza these next several weeks. We definitely are still seeing flu B trending upward.”

She adds that “you can still get protection from that flu shot.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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