Be a Flu Fighter!

New Jersey is in the grips of a severe flu outbreak in the 2012-2013 season. In addition to the seasonal flu, a separate norovirus, often accompanied with gastrointestinal symptoms, is affecting many individuals. New Jersey's healthcare community is fully mobilized to care for those who are sick. Hospitals have "surge plans" in place to handle the high numbers of flu and norovirus cases, both in their emergency departments and in their inpatient beds. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities also take special precautions to limit the spread of illness. Those precautions may include staffers wearing surgical masks when caring for patients, limitations on visitors and isolation of contagious patients.

There also are several steps healthcare consumers can take to help New Jersey fight the flu.

If You Are Well:

  • Get a flu shot now! You can find a vaccination site near year with the state Department of Health's Find a Flu Shot locator.
  • The flu shot is especially important if you:
    • Are over the age of 65
    • Have a chronic health condition that can be aggravated by the flu
    • Are around infants less than 6 months of age
    • Are around individuals with a chronic condition or compromised immune system.
  • Unfortunately, the flu vaccine is not effective against the norovirus.
  • Use tried-and-true strategies for overall wellness and prevention: Wash your hands often. Get enough rest, eat well and exercise.

If You Shows Signs of Illness:

  • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
  • Consult your primary care provider. In most instances your primary care provider can deliver the healthcare services you need to treat the flu, without going to the hospital.

If You Are Seriously Ill:

  • Go to the hospital emergency room if you cannot reach a primary care provider and if you are exhibiting severe symptoms such as: difficulty breathing, constant vomiting, dizziness or disorientation or symptoms that temporarily improve but return with a higher fever or worse cough.
  • You should also seek emergency care if you have an underlying medical condition such as emphysema or COPD that is made worse by flu symptoms.


Be informed and prepared with these helpful Web resources:

For Healthcare Professionals: