Health officials: Flu on the rise across New Jersey
The number of people suffering from the flu has risen dramatically across New Jersey in just one week's time.
The latest report from state officials found that New Jersey is seeing high flu levels. This comes from data collected from schools, hospitals and laboratories. Officials say New Jersey was only at moderate flu levels this time last year.
"People are coming in with very high temperatures, body aches, and we have flu testing here in the office so we swab the patient and we seem to be having quite a bit this year," says High Mountain Health nurse practitioner Shawne Simone.
Simone says she thinks it could be because more people are choosing not to get the flu vaccine this year, although she says some patients have tested positive for the flu even when they did get their shots.
Experts also say patients are not taking enough time to rest, which means they spread the virus elsewhere.
"Once you're exposed to influenza virus, you can become contagious 24 hours before symptoms up until a week after you are exposed," says Bergen County Assistant Health Officer Karen Alelis.
Simone says that patients should not go to work or school until at least 24 hours after a fever has gone away completely.
"I don't know how people are getting back to work in two days," she says. "I just think generally as a society we don't take enough time off when we are sick and rest our bodies when we really should."
Doctors tell News 12 New Jersey that the most common flu strain seen this year seems to be a type of the A-strain.