OCHD: Flu cases up across the State this season

With flu season in full swing, the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) wants to remind you that the virus may be lurking anywhere. But there are many ways you can protect yourself from the influenza viruses along with the suffering that comes with a bout of the sick bug. Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, says, “The best line of defense is to get vaccinated. The flu viruses can hang around through April and into May so it’s not too late to get your shot if you haven’t already.”

Being vaccinated is the best start. But other important tips to follow include washing your hands frequently with soap and water, making sure to cover all coughs and sneezes and to stay home when you’re sick and to stay away from people who are sick.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reminds us that people with the flu can spread it to others up to roughly 6 feet away. Crowded places such as schools, entertainment venues, shopping malls, airports, work places, and high touch areas are just a few typical high risk areas the flu will find you. Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator, says, “The influenza viruses are mostly spread person to person through respiratory droplets that are expelled when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes or talks. Another form of transmission may happen when someone touches a contaminated surface or object.”

Flu cases are up across the state this season. That’s why a flu shot is your best shot at prevention with the next best thing practicing good hand hygiene.

Regenye adds, “Most of us are exposed to a variety of these high risk areas but if you can remember these few important tips it can make a significant difference this flu season. However, if you feel that you have symptoms of flu which include fever, sore throat, headache, and muscle aches, it is important to reach out to your health care provider as soon as possible as they may prescribe an antiviral medication which works best if started within the first 48 hours of symptoms.”

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