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A pandemic is an outbreak that has the potential to infect individuals on a worldwide scale. The Gloucester County Department of Health has developed a Pandemic Influenza plan (PDF). Read more on pandemic influenza and the response actions we will take during a pandemic.
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Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The symptoms of influenza are:
People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the eyes, noses, or mouths of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. View more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
You can stop the spread of influenza by:
Influenza surveillance is conducted to monitor for unusual influenza activity. Guidance is provided to schools and healthcare facilities regularly during the influenza season from fall to spring each year. Every fall, influenza vaccinations are available at no cost to Gloucester County residents at scheduled locations throughout the county. The County is geared up for the peak flu season, with vaccines and manpower ready to keep our residents healthy and promote preventative health care. For your convenience, a schedule is printed in the County newsletter in September or October, announced in the local newspaper and on our website.
During fall and winter, the schedule will be posted on our home page. Eligibility restrictions and supply availability may apply.
The seasonal influenza vaccine consists of four different strains of influenza and is made by multiple manufacturers. Each year scientists from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and the Food and Drug Administration determine which strains will make up the seasonal flu shot based on the dominating strains the year before.