FAIR LAWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Flu fears have mounted in New Jersey after a high number of cases were reported – especially in the northeast and central parts of the state.
CBS2’s Dave Carlin spoke to a doctor in Fair Lawn.
James Rojao, 4, of Lodi, went for a checkup at the doctor’s office on Friday. He doesn’t have to worry much about the flu this year, as he got a flu shot in September along with everyone else in his family.
“Since we’ve all got our shots, we’ve been doing good,” said James’ mother, Christina Rojao.
Area doctors and officials at the New Jersey Department of Health wish more people would guard against the flu before they get caught in its grip.
“We’ve had a bunch of kids with flu,” said Dr. David Namerow, founder of Pediatric Care Associates. “Fever, chills, headache, cough.”
According to Garden State Health Statistics, flu cases are spiking.
The most recent figures do not represent all the cases because so many go unreported. But they show from Oct. 7, 2016 to Jan. 7 of this year, a total of 1,507 flu cases have been reported statewide.
There were only 162 statewide cases in the same period the year before.
Among the hardest-hit counties is Bergen. Over that recent three-month period, there have been 353 cases, compared to the year before with only 28.
“We expect to see cases of flu not only January, but as far as February, March, April and even May,” Namerow said.
Doctors said their number-one flu avoidance tip is get a flu shot, and they say it is not too late.
“Now is the time to do it. Don’t wait,” Namerow said. “Because if you get the flu, it’s not fun, and the older you get, it can be pretty nasty.”
The flu strain Namerow is now seeing most is one of the four predicted and chosen for this season’s vaccine.
“This year, we are lucky it is covered,” he said. “The best defense good hygiene – hand washing, covering the cough.”
Those most at risk for getting the flu are young children, seniors, and anyone with a weakened immune system.