NEWTON, NJ (Sussex County) – For Sussex County residents to further protect themselves in the upcoming flu season, Sussex County health officials are advocating that residents, especially those in the most vulnerable age and health segments, receive a flu vaccine.
“During this COVID-19 pandemic time, it is important to get a flu shot,” Sussex County’s Public Health Nursing Supervisor Marty Baldwin said. “Flu vaccination has important benefits, reducing flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work and school days and hospitalizations due to flu symptoms and complications.”
“Sussex County’s Division of Health, Office of Public Health Nursing, recommends the flu vaccine annually for those ages six months and up,” Baldwin said.
According to information from New Jersey’s Department of Health, the flu vaccine is reviewed annually and may be updated to adjust to the mutations in the most current flu viruses. It is recommended to inoculate as soon as the vaccine is available, with it taking approximately two weeks after receiving a flu shot, for the person to develop immunity. Those who receive a flu vaccine should do so, if possible, no later than the end of October, to guard against the upcoming flu season, which may stretch until the following May. Even flu shots received beyond the recommended timeframe, should help to provide some coverage against the virus.
New Jersey’s Department of Health notes that individuals who transmit the flu, may be contagious and pass it on up to 24 hours before feeling ill; and a week after their symptoms begin. That time period may last even longer in children.
Although anyone, even those without underlying health conditions, can contract the flu virus, those most at risk and susceptible to it are children under the age of five, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and individuals with chronic health problems such as diabetes, asthma and immune system compromises.
Flu viruses can be transmitted by traveling into an individual’s lungs, nose and throat, by a cough, sneeze, talking to an infected person or picking it up from a surface and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes afterward.
Symptoms of the flu may include fever, cough, a sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.
The New Jersey Department of Health recommends the flu vaccine for all individuals over the age of six months; practicing good hygiene with regular handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces often and avoiding those who are ill; and lastly, starting a course of anti-viral medications within two days after the onset of symptoms.
“Sussex County residents should inquire with their primary care physician or local pharmacies about receiving their flu shot this year,” Baldwin said.
For more information about influenza and flu vaccines, click here or call: 973-579-0570, extension 1211.