STATE—The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services had confirmed 56 cases of H1N1 influenza that have been identified in 11 counties and cover all regions of the state on Tuesday.
New Jersey confirmed 31 new cases of H1N1 influenza since late Thursday.
“The recent increase of confirmed H1N1 cases reflects the ability of the Department’s Public Health and Environmental Laboratory to confirm H1N1 influenza and allows us to investigate outbreaks of influenza-like illness without sending samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing,’’ said Commissioner Heather Howard.
“As confirmed cases continue to rise, it is important to note that H1N1 now exists in every region of the state. Families must remain vigilant by monitoring their health, observing good hygiene habits and most importantly, staying home if they are sick,” Howard said
“Improved reporting of influenza-like illness from health care providers might have also contributed to the increase in case identification of both H1N1 and seasonal influenza activity,” said Deputy Commissioner Dr. Susan Walsh.
H1N1 influenza cases have now been identified in the following counties: Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic and Somerset. The individuals range in age from 8 months to 55 years.
The new cases include clusters of two or more cases among students in Mercer, Monmouth, Morris and Hudson counties.
“We will continue to work closely with local health departments to identify potential clusters and to monitor the severity of disease as well as provide treatment and surveillance guidance consistent with the CDC,” Howard said.
The symptoms of H1N1 flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been associated with H1N1 flu in people, especially in Mexico for reasons that are not known. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 flu might cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.