OCEAN COUNTY – The Ocean County Health Department is marking 100 years this month since the H1N1 flu epidemic that wiped out nearly 3 percent of the global population in 1918, and is now recognizing the various achievements in health that have occurred since that time.
Over the past century, we have seen advancements in public health like the introduction of vaccinations, anti-virals, strain predictability, active surveillance, and more.
“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, Ocean County Health Department 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.”
Approximately 228 million lives would be lost today if it weren’t for these advancements like flu vaccine, officials stated.
OCHD officials recommend everyone six months and older, and pregnant women, receive a flu vaccine. The vaccine takes about two weeks to develop and protect your body against the flu. Don’t forget to maintain proper hygiene by frequently washing your hands, disinfecting surfaces, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, and avoiding touching your face.
“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,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “Everyone must take flu seriously and protect themselves and others by ensuring that all eligible family members are vaccinated.”
The Ocean County Health Department also offers a series of flu clinics. Dates, times, and locations can be found at ochd.org.
For more information on getting vaccinated or for educational programs available for your community, contact the Ocean County Health Department at 732-341-9700 ext. 7604.