“Flu Season is Getting Worse”, Says Newark Beth Israel Physician

NEWARK, NJ - Essex County has already experienced several snow storms in 2017 and flu season is on. Several hospitals in the County have been hit hard, with people suffering from flu and other winter infections.

"So far this flu season, we have been very busy. I believe that this season is going to be harder than previous ones. We are at capacity," says Dr. Sean Gordon from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. "We have had a few very hard cases of flu," Dr. Gordon told The Essex Times.

"Flu usually hits infants and the elderly the hardest. It kills more than 600 people a year in New Jersey,” Dr. Gordon continues, “and we usually are not aware of the severity of the disease until the end of the season.” Dr. Gordon also indicated that in the current flu season, Influenza A (H3N2) viruses had been identified as the most frequent ones. “If these viruses continue to circulate widely, more people will be severely affected.” However, Dr. Gordon emphasized that it was still not too late to get a flu vaccine. “It is very important that people over 65 get vaccinated and parents have their young kids vaccinated as well.” Said Dr. Gordon.

Dr. Gordon added that the symptoms for influenza are usually easy to identify. They include:
Sore throat
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Children sometimes have diarrhea or vomit

Although rarely an emergency, Dr. Gordon urges parents to rush their kids to an emergency room if they have the following symptoms:

Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish skin
If they don't drink fluids or cannot be awakened.

“We are all in the same boat and we should try to avoid going to work if we show any of the symptoms” says Dr. Gordon “after all, today I am sick, but tomorrow it could be you”.

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