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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
December 02, 2009

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160


 
H1N1 Weekly Update: Week of November 30, 2009


 

Surveillance:
Currently, there is widespread influenza-like activity in New Jersey, which signifies there is flu activity in virtually every county in the state. This week’s influenza-like activity report is available at
http://nj.gov/health/flu/fluinfo.shtml

The Department of Health and Senior Services is reporting two deaths in this week’s report to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The DHSS is reporting the death of:

  • A 73-year-old male from Hudson County, who had underlying medical conditions. He was hospitalized on Nov. 6 and died Nov. 11.
  • A 53-year-old male from Middlesex County, who had no underlying medical conditions. He was hospitalized on Nov. 16 and died on Nov. 22.

Including the deaths being reported to the CDC today, a total of 13 H1N1 deaths have been reported to the CDC since Sept. 1, 2009. There were 18 deaths reported to the CDC during last spring’s H1N1 outbreak.

Vaccine Availability:
A total of 1,580,700 doses of H1N1 vaccine have been shipped into NJ.

Facility Type 

Received Doses

County and local health departments

773,700

Physicians’ offices and employee health services 

436,900

Hospitals 

161,900

Community Health Centers   

54,300

Colleges and schools 

65,700

Government agency and health care facilities that serve target populations

49,700

Retail pharmacies    

38,500

Vaccine continues to arrive in New Jersey in limited shipments. The federal government has assured DHSS that they will be able to produce and distribute enough vaccine for everyone who wants it.  However, with limited vaccine available at this time, it is important to first target the individuals most susceptible to H1N1 flu. 
 
For information on the vaccine distribution system from the federal government, visit
http://nj.gov/health/flu/vac_ordering.shtml

H1N1 Vaccine Target Groups

It is recommended that certain target groups be the first to receive the H1N1 vaccine as it becomes available.  These groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
  • All people from 6 months through 24 years of age

Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with

  • higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

Finding a flu shot:
The following tools may be helpful for New Jerseyans seeking an H1N1 flu shot:

  • The DHSS website has two flu shot locators to help individuals find public health clinics that are being planned and will be announced when vaccine is available, as well as to find clinics with scheduled dates.
  • Contact your physician, community health center, local pharmacy, local or county health department, hospital or school. Many doctors, health clinics and schools are providing vaccine to their patients and students, while local health departments, pharmacies and some hospitals are offering clinics to the public.
  • Call New Jersey’s H1N1 Information Hotline - 1-866-321-9571

Antiviral Medications
The Department has entered into an agreement with all Walgreen stores and other retail pharmacies in the state to make available antiviral medications that will specifically be offered to uninsured and underinsured residents. The Department also has distributed antiviral medications to New Jersey’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).

Walgreens and other pharmacies will provide these medications with a valid prescription. Medications received from pharmacies will cost a small administration fee. Medications received from FQHCs will be free to the FQHCs uninsured patients.
 
State Public Call Center:

A state H1N1 information call center was activated on October 6. To date, the call center has received nearly 27,000 calls from the general public, healthcare providers, and others. The overwhelming majority of the calls are regarding flu vaccine and vaccine clinic questions from the general public. The call center is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The toll free number is 866-321-9571

Hospital Visiting Restrictions:
Many New Jersey hospitals have restricted their visitation policy to help reduce the spread of illness. The restrictions do no allow individuals with influenza-like symptoms or those who are under 18 years of age.
The Department of Health and Senior Services supports this effort to reduce the spread of H1N1 influenza as well as other infectious diseases.
 
Communications
:

The Department’s H1N1 website (www.nj.gov/health/h1n1) is the source for up-to-date information on H1N1 influenza. The website also contains videos, public service announcements, press releases, posters and flyers. The website is updated frequently, so please visit daily for new information and links.
 
Individuals who would like to receive updated H1N1 information can also follow DHSS on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FluNJ.
 
Stop the Spread:

There are certain prevention actions everyone can take to help slow the spread of H1N1 this fall and winter. These actions include common-sense measures to limit the

spread of germs, including:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and then wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Questions and Answers:

What is nasal mist flu vaccine?                                                                                                Nasal mist flu vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils rather than injected into the muscle.  This is also called an intranasal influenza vaccine.  This vaccine is a weakened live virus vaccine and is not able to produce influenza illness in a healthy person or to people they come into contact with.  The nasal mist vaccine is FDA-approved for healthy children and adults from 2 through 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

 

 

My child is due for a second dose of H1N1 vaccine and I’m being told he has to wait because the limited amount of vaccine needs to go to other children who have not yet received their first dose. If my child gets his second dose more than four weeks after the first one, is he still protected against H1N1?
 
The span of 4 weeks between doses is the recommended minimum time.  The 2nd dose can be given anytime after 4 weeks and still result in the same level of protection for your child.  With just one dose, your child is protected against the flu, but for full protection a second dose should be administered.  It is recommended that your child obtain the 2nd dose when it becomes available. There is no maximum time in which the 2nd dose needs to be administered.

 

Who should NOT get the nasal mist flu vaccine?                                                                    The following people should NOT get nasal mist flu vaccine.  Anyone in these groups should contact their health care provider.

·        People with severe (life-threatening) allergy to eggs, or to any other substance in the vaccine.  Tell the person giving you the vaccine if you have any severe allergies.

·        Pregnant women

·        Children younger than 2 and adults 50 years and older

·        Children younger than 5 years with asthma or one or more episodes of wheezing during the past year

·        Children or adolescents on long-term aspirin treatment.

·        Anyone with a weakened immune system

·        Anyone in close contact with a person with a SEVERELY weakened immune system (requiring care in a protected environment such as a bone marrow transplant unit)

·        Anyone with a long-term health problem such as:

o       Heart disease

o       Lung disease

o       Asthma

o       Kidney or liver disease

o       Metabolic disease such as diabetes

o       Anemia and other blood disorders

·        Anyone with certain muscle or nerve disorders (such as cerebral palsy) that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems

 
 
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