Health officials: NJ flu activity declared ‘widespread;’ cases soar in recent weeks

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The Department of Health says flu cases are rising in New Jersey, and they are reminding everyone it's not too late to get vaccinated. 

According to state health officials, cases have soared statewide in recent weeks, and the state’s flu activity has been declared "widespread."

RELATED: Health officials: Flu activity sees high levels in certain areas of New Jersey 

Officials say the state has already suffered its first pediatric death this season, although it was not more specific on where that took place.

Currently, cases of the flu are widespread in the northwest, central-west, and southern parts of the state. In the northeast and central-eastern parts of the state, cases remain moderate, officials say.

"We know the season always comes and there's always a question of when usually November or December or later in January so we expect a peek in those cases and we certainly have to stop appropriately and expect patients to come and have questions and we need to have answers," says Dr. Borislav Stoev with Saint Peter's University Hospital.

To this point, 803 cases have been reported statewide. Officials say the predominant strain of the flu is type B.

In all, 19 fatalities have been reported across the U.S.

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