Ocean County Health Department Highlights Importance of Flu Vaccine

Sep 26, 2018

One hundred years ago, the 1918 H1N1 flu pandemic took out 1 to 3 percent of the world’s population. This fall – as flu season begins – the Ocean County Health Department is recognizing a century of advancements in public health, established and galvanized by the Spanish Influenza epidemic: vaccinations, anti-virals, strain predictability, active surveillance and more.

“If the same mortality rates from flu occurred today, it would equate to 228 million lives lost from the flu,” noted Brian E. Rumpf, OCHD director of administration and program development. “There is no greater time to recognize the importance of public health in protecting you and your loved ones from this vaccine-preventable illness.”

“One of the key things, looking back, is recognizing that we have public health practices in place today that those in 1918 never had,” said Daniel E. Regenye, OCHD public health coordinator. “Vaccination against influenza is an important step Ocean County residents should take to protect themselves from the flu. We recommend residents be vaccinated, through their primary healthcare provider or at any of our community-based clinics; seek medical help when experiencing flu-like symptoms; and practice frequent hand washing.”

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, including pregnant women. As the health department pointed out, “It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu.

“It is also essential to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing your hands to help prevent the spread of seasonal flu. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school or office. You can take additional steps to ward off the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoiding touching your face.”

Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, stated, “Each year, flu sickens many residents across the county, and flu-related illnesses were responsible for nearly 1,000 deaths in New Jersey last year alone. Everyone must take flu seriously and protect themselves and others by ensuring that all eligible family members are vaccinated.”

The health department is holding a series of flu clinics throughout the county. Locations, dates and times are available on the OCHD website, ochd.org.

For more information, call 732-341-9700, extension 7604. —J.K.-H.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.