Flu

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu season may have peaked, it’s still making a lot of people sick in New Jersey.

State epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan says there are high levels of flu illness throughout New Jersey, but there are some positive signs.

“We are starting to see that some of our areas that we’re measuring are starting to decrease such as emergency department admissions and emergency department visits that are associated with influenza-like illness.”

Dr. Tan says influenza type B cases are increasing in the state.

healthcare.gov

Ang Santos:  Some experts say this is the worst flu season in a decade, and in New Jersey potentially on record when it’s all said and done.  Joining us on the phone is Dr. Bill Miller, author of The Microcosm Within:  Evolution and Extinction in the Hologenome.  Dr. Miller is a veteran physician with special interest in infectious diseases, thanks for joining us.

Dr. Bill Miller:  Thanks very much for having me on.

AS:  First off, a professional opinion, is this one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory?

 

The flu is now widespread in throughout the United States. The CDC says every state except Hawaii is seeing a high number of cases. In New Jersey it’s causing a drop in blood donations.

 

Alana Mauger is the communications manager for the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region.

 

She says you can’t donate blood if you have the flu or a cold.

 

Know somebody who's sick? It could be the flu that's starting to show up in New Jersey.

Dr. Bradley Pulver is the director of emergency services at Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township.

“We’re starting to see some cases over the last couple of weeks, but there is concern that it is going to be a worse than usual flu season. It’s very widespread in many of the southern states and the expectation is it’s going to hit here very hard over the next few weeks.”

And that could be troublesome.

It's not over yet, but the flu season is New jersey is nearing an end.

State epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan says some people came down with the flu later in the season than usual, but the number of flu-related illnesses is decreasing now.

"'We definitely had more intense activity this year. This is what we expect when we see a predominance of the type AH3 strain. It tends to be a little bit more severe illnesses.'

Tan says low to moderate levels of flu activity are still being reported throughout New Jersey and it’s not too late to get a flu shot.