STATE — Flu activity is high in all regions of the state, according to the New Jersey Department of Health’s weekly flu surveillance report being made public today. Three of five regions of the state reported moderate flu activity last week and today’s weekly report shows all five regions are reporting high activity.
“New Jersey’s health care facilities and medical officers continue to see large numbers of visits due to influenza like illness. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get the flu vaccine,” said Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd. “The good news is that the vaccine is a very good match for the strains of flu that are circulating in the community right now.”
To find a nearby pharmacy offering flu vaccine, visit the Find a Flu Shot Locator on the department’s website. The department recommends calling the pharmacy first. People can also search online for a local urgent care center. Urgent care centers often have physicians and nurse practitioners on staff who can administer flu vaccine.
Parents who have difficulty locating vaccine for children under 18 may be able to access vaccine at local pharmacy walk-in medical clinics. Pharmacists cannot vaccinate anyone under 18 years of age: however, CVS Minute Clinics are staffed with nurse practitioners and physician assistants who may be able to vaccinate the preschool/childcare population. Consumers should access the CVS Minute Clinic website for locations and detailed information about the populations these clinics serve: www.minuteclinic.com
There are simple preventive steps that everyone should be taking to prevent the spread of the flu:
- Cover our mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way
- Stay home from work or school when you are sick
- Those who do get the flu should stay home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine)-except to get medical care. For more tips on what to do if you get sick visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm.
Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
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