UNION, NJ – In Union and throughout the country, flu activity is on the rise.  And it's been deadly.

Union’s mayor and Township Committee are reminding residents to be vigilant and take precautions to minimize the risk of catching and spreading the virus.

“Many people start to feel ill and try to ‘power through’ believing that they may only have a slight cold,” said Mayor Suzette Cavadas. “The reality is that the flu, which is much more severe than a common cold, requires more rest and attention, and is spread more easily.”

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The flu is caused by viruses that infect your nose, throat, and lungs. It is easily spread from person to person when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks. It is also possible to get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

“If you become ill with flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible,” said Marconi Gapas, Township of Union Health Officer. “Treatments for the flu are most effective when started within 48 hours, so calling as soon as you become ill is important, especially if you or a loved one are at a higher risk for complications.”

Anyone can get the flu, even healthy people.  However, some people are at high-risk of developing serious complications, such as: children under 5 years old; adults 65 years of age and older; pregnant women; and people with chronic health conditions or weakened immune system.

The Health Department also recommends that you stay home from work and keep children home from school or daycare when sick to help prevent spreading the flu to others, and urge residents to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing their hands. Members of the public are also advised to make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in their home, school or office.

For additional information on the flu virus and additional tips on avoiding the flu, visit the Township of Union’s Health Department at: http://www.uniontownship.com/167/Health-Department.