Flu shots available to help combat rise in flu activity

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Submitted/CDC's latest flu activity map shows widespread flu outbreaks in brown Submitted/CDC's latest flu activity map shows widespread flu outbreaks in brown

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The flu season has started with a noticeable start this year and county health officials are urging residents to obtain a flu shot to minimize the effect of this serious virus.

 According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Jersey is among 29 states reporting high levels of the flu this season, with the highest concentration still up to the northern half of the state.

 “Flu season typically peaks in late January and February and may continue through May, so it’s certainly not too late to get a flu shot,” said Atlantic County Public Health Officer Patricia Diamond. “In fact we strongly recommend that you do.”

 The Atlantic County Division of Public Health is reminding residents that two flu shot clinics are still open to help stem the spread of the virus locally, and stated the best way to combat the virus is with a flu shot in combination with preventative measures such as frequent hand washing.

 Adults 18 years and older can obtain the shots at two locations: The Stillwater Building, 201 S. Shore Road in Northfield, from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday; and at 310 Bellvue Ave. in Hammonton on Tuesdays, from 10 a.m. to noon.

 No appointment is necessary at either site. The cost of the flu shot is $15. Pneumonia shots are also available to eligible residents 65 years and older for $25. There is no cost for either shot for Medicare Part B recipients who present their card.

 The vaccine becomes protective approximately two weeks after having received the shot, noted Diamond. “And while the flu shot does not guarantee 100% protection, it will greatly reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus and the severity of symptoms.”

 For more information about the flu visit www.aclink.org/publichealth  or call (609) 645-5935.

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