Flu cases are on the rise in New Jersey. Here’s how to recognize the signs

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Cases of the flu are on the rise in New Jersey, according to state health officials, leaving some parents worried about their little ones catching the illness.

"The flu virus, or the influenza virus, works just like any other virus,” says pediatrician Dr. Amna Husain. “Once it finds a host, it starts to multiply and that's when you start feeling bad from any influenza virus."

Doctors say that as a parent, it is important to know the signs of the illness. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, coughing, congestion, vomiting or muscle aches.

RELATED: Health officials: NJ flu activity declared ‘widespread;’ cases soar in recent weeks 
RELATED: Health officials: Flu activity sees high levels in certain areas of New Jersey 

And how does a parent get their child to start feeling better?

“Keep your child out of school until they’re 24 hours fever-free,” says Husain. “Making sure you’re dosing appropriately with Tylenol and Motrin as needed…keeping up their fluid intake.”

And Husain says that it is also important to prevent spreading the flu to others.

"Teaching your child as much as possible to cough into their elbows, sneeze into their elbows and hand-washing is crucial,” she says.

Doctors say that it is also important to get a flu shot during flu season. Doctors say that while they try to develop the best vaccine for the strains most common this flu season, it is still possible to get the flu. But they say that the illness will be less severe and that a patient will be at a lower risk of complications if they get the flu shot.

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