FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Noticing an unusually high number of people sneezing, coughing and calling out of the office? It could be due to the flu.

The New Jersey Department of Health reports flu activity is high in New Jersey, including Franklin Township.

The Somerset County Department of Health will sponsor free flu clinics on Feb. 1 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the library on 485 DeMott Lane, and on Feb. 8 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Franklin Park Branch on 3391 Route 27. 

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Adults 18 and above can get their free flu shots during the clinic. This year is particularly bad because it is dominated by the influenza A (H3N2) strain, which cause more severe symptoms than other strains of flu.  

Influenza can be serious.  It is a contagious viral infection that mostly affects the respiratory system: nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.  In some cases, people may experience vomiting and diarrhea.  It is important to promptly consult a doctor or an urgent care facility if symptoms are severe, to assure proper treatment.  

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Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family members who are 6 months of age and above from the flu, especially very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications. 

Although influenza vaccine effectiveness can range widely from season to season, influenza vaccination is the most effective currently available method to prevent influenza and its complications. It takes about two weeks for the body to develop an immune response, so the sooner you are vaccinated the better.

In addition to vaccinations, everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands help to reduce the spread of germs. Individuals who are already infected should stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others, and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms become severe.  

TAPinto Franklin Township is independently owned and operated by  Malik A. Lyons FHS Class of 93’ Graduate. 

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