NJ Flu Cases ‘Widespread,’ 3rd Child Dies; Several Schools Close

Source: New Jersey Patch

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified New Jersey’s flu activity “widespread” as the state has seen its flu cases increase from 323 during the week that ended last Dec. 22 to 1,269 during the week that ended on Feb. 16, according to state Department of Healths. The state has also had highest numbers of emergency department visits in three years.

A third New Jersey child has died from influenza complications this season, Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal announced on Monday. The infant from North Jersey died in late January and had several underlying conditions. The child was not able to be vaccinated for medical reasons, according to state health officials.

A The Clinton Township School district closed recently because it was experiencing a “large number of student absences due to respiratory/flu and gastrointestinal illnesses.”

The flu hit Princeton hard this season with schools reporting high rates of illness or absenteeism, specifically at John Witherspoon Middle School. On one day, 160 students were absent, officials said.

This year, New Jersey has had a high number of H1N1 virus, otherwise known as the “swine flu.” A dangerous strain that was behind a 2009 pandemic has re-emerged in a big way in New Jersey, according to the state Department of Health.

To treat the flu, use over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or cough syrup to relieve symptoms. Rest in bed and drink lots of fluids. If you contact your doctor within 48 hours of onset of symptoms, you may be able to take an antiviral drug that will reduce the severity of symptoms and the length of illness.

Local health department contact information can be found on this site: www.localhealth.nj.gov

To learn more about flu, please visit The NJ Department of Health Web site, which also includes specific flu information for parents.

Here are some additional tips:

Stay home if you are sick.
Avoid touching your face — your mouth, nose, and eyes.
Wash your hands frequently.
Avoid others who are sick.
Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue.

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