Health & Wellness

Westfield Health Department Sees Spike in Flu Cases, Offers Vaccines & Advice

111f978865179d0a4019_Screen_Shot_2018-01-18_at_2.50.21_PM.jpg
New Jersey Department of Health Reports the number of flu cases as high and widespread. Credits: New Jersey Department of Health
111f978865179d0a4019_Screen_Shot_2018-01-18_at_2.50.21_PM.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — In line with both statewide and nationwide data, Westfield and the surrounding area is seeing an increase in confirmed flu cases, according to the Westfield Regional Health Department.

“It’s here. It’s in New Jersey. It’s in all of our towns,” said Laura Scanlon, the public health nursing supervisor at the Westfield Regional Health Department, which serves Chatham Borough, Fanwood, Garwood, Mountainside, New Providence, Roselle Park and Summit as well as Westfield. Scanlon added that both norovirus and upper respiratory cold cases are also on the rise.

According to Scanlon, this is typically the time of year when confirmed cases tend to spike, but she added that an exact number in our location is difficult to find.

Sign Up for E-News

“There really isn’t a way to get an exact number. True numbers are tough to get because it is under-reported,” she said.

Statewide, more than 2,800 cases have been reported over the last four weeks, according to the New Jersey Department of Health and Communicable Disease Service. The Center for Disease Control reported 211 flu-associated deaths nationwide in the week leading up to Christmas.

The Westfield Regional Health Department recommends that people ideally get vaccinated in September, October or November.

“It can take up to two weeks to be fully protected by the vaccine,” said Scanlon, who added that getting the vaccine early in the season allows our bodies to build up a stronger immunity to the virus.

But Scanlon still recommends getting a flu shot if you haven't already. The state projects flu season to last through March 31, but it can go longer, she said, “So even if they get it now, it still affords them the protection from the virus.”

While it is still possible to get the flu after being vaccinated, Scanlon said that in those cases the individual will often heal faster and be less impacted than someone who has not received the vaccine.

“Without the vaccine, they could be out for a week or so,” she said.

The flu vaccine changes every year and, according to Scanlon, the components are determined by what’s happening across the world.

“They look at what’s going on in Asia in the previous year to get a sense of what will be coming to the northeast the following season,” she said. “It’s an educated guess, so to speak.”

The typical vaccines are either trivalent or quadrivalent, named for the number of strains included in the vaccine.

“We prefer people to get the quadrivalent vaccine,” said Scanlon. She said that it provides better protection and is available to children six months or older. Seniors are often offered a “high dose” vaccine option, a trivalent vaccine. The benefit of the “high dose” option is that it has a more efficient immune response, said Scanlon. Instead of a two week window until optimal immunity, the “high dose” for seniors reaches optimal immunity in one week, which might be better at this point in the flu season, said Scanlon.

What can you do to prevent the flu?

According to Scanlon, it’s much like any other cold or illness:

  1. Avoid close contact with anyone who is ill.
  2. Stay home when you are sick.
  3. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  4. Wash hands regularly and do it well.
  5. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  6. Maintain healthy habits — eat healthy, get plenty of sleep.
  7. Get vaccinated.

The Westfield Regional Health Department has a limited number of vaccines available at this time for a $25 cash payment. If you are interested in getting vaccinated, call Scanlon at 908-789-4070 x4074 to make an appointment (no walk ins). To receive the vaccine, the recipient must be six months or older.

You can also visit Findaflushot.com to find a local flu vaccine provider.

Do you think you may already have the flu? Scanlon said that there are some products that can be used to help treat the virus, but that they may have side effects. The best course of action is to speak with your physician regarding treatment options.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Another Car Smashes into CVS on Morris Avenue in Union

April 21, 2018

UNION, NJ – For the third time in the past year, a car hit the CVS building at 2287 Morris Avenue at the corner of Commerce Avenue.

Union firefighters responded to a call at the CVS at about 12:50 p.m. Thursday.  According to Fire Chief Mike Scanio, a car had struck the building. The Union Fire Department Special Operations Team along with a township construction official ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_847ee9151bdce789833a_y

Sat, April 21, 9:30 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Westfield Area YMCA Camp Open House

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Tamaques Park, Brightwood Park & Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Westfield 2018 Spring Clean-Up

Giving Back Government Green

Carousel_image_28ada9d80beb9d6466b0_picture2_simpler

Sat, April 21, 1:30 PM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Aquatics Healthy Kids Day

Health & Wellness Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

The Secret to Managing Insulin for Weight Loss

April 21, 2018

Not too long ago I was sitting with my good friend, Charlie, and I asked him, "Hey Charlie, what's the easiest way to get rid of belly fat?"

"C'mon, Tony, you know the answer to that question." I was pretty sure I did, but I wanted to see if he knew something I didn't. Charlie continued, "The secret to losing belly fat and keeping it off is simply a matter ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Edison Students Participate in Beta Test of Google Augmented Reality App

Students and teachers at Edison Intermediate School participated in a recent beta test of a Google application that uses augmented reality technology to explore the inner workings of plant cells, the functions and framework of the human skeletal system, and other educational subjects.

Edison Media Specialist Andrew Cusumano arranged for a Google representative to visit the school on April 9 to ...

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Mets Sign Patriots Pitcher Before He Can Unpack His Gear

April 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — The Somerset Patriots have announced that right-hand pitcher Scott Copeland’s contract has been purchased by the New York Mets.

So, instead of stretching out and getting in shape at TD Bank Ballpark, he's been sent to extended spring training at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The 6’3” righty broke into the big leagues in ...