Health officials: 5,000 cases of flu in New Jersey this season

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New Jersey has seen nearly 5,000 cases of influenza this flu season, according to the New Jersey Health Department.

Pharmacists say that they have been very busy filling prescriptions for Tamiflu and its generic counterpart. There have been 500 new cases of the flu last week along, according to officials.

Edison pharmacist Michael Abramovich says that at times pharmacies are running out of flu medicine.

"It’s been pretty bad. It's been worse than it has been…in the last couple of years,” he says.

There have been 18 severe cases of the flu in New Jersey since October. There has also been one reported death – a 4-year-old girl from Central New Jersey who was not vaccinated, according to the Health Department. Counties with the highest numbers of cases include Bergen, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Abramovich that although there are a lot of cases of the flu this year, the shortage of medicine is nothing to be concerned about.

“The shortage is only a day or two, and we order from a wholesaler every day,” he says. “If they're out of it one day, it's back in stock the next day.”

Some people may display flu-like symptoms and can be treated with over-the-counter medicine. The best way to know for sure if a person has the flu and needs an antibiotic to treat it is to get an influenza test from a doctor at the first sign of illness.

The Department of Health still also recommends getting a flu shot this season. Though it is not as effective, it still offers protections from flu complications. 

Positive influenza tests have been increasing week by week since early December according to state reports.

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