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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
November 18, 2009

Heather Howard
Commissioner

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


 
DHSS Reports Deaths in Weekly Surveillance Report to CDC


 

The Department of Health and Senior Services is reporting six deaths in this week’s report to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

“The deaths are not an indication of an increase in the severity or prevalence of H1N1 in New Jersey but are a reminder that influenza is a serious disease and can cause serious complications,” said Deputy Commissioner Dr. Susan Walsh. “It is important that everyone remember the public health measures that can reduce the chances of contracting the disease—get vaccinated against H1N1, wash your hands frequently, cover your cough and stay home when you’re sick.”

 

The surveillance report also notes that New Jersey continues to have widespread flu activity.

 

The deaths include four adult females and two adult males all with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and obesity. The deaths occurred between Nov. 2 and Nov. 15 and several cases were not confirmed as H1N1 in the state lab until late last week, Dr. Walsh explained.

 

The deaths included two each from Passaic and Burlington County, as well as one death each in Ocean and Somerset. Five of the six patients were hospitalized.

 

The deaths include:

  • A 24-year-old Passaic County male who died on Nov. 2
  • A 30-year-old Passaic County male who died on Nov.5
  • A 36-year-old Burlington County female who died on Nov. 6
  • A 42-year-old Somerset County female who died on Nov. 7
  • A 42-year-old Burlington County female who died on Nov. 8
  • A 33-year-old Ocean County female who died on Nov. 11

 

The Department does not release more detailed information about patient deaths such as home town. Only pediatric influenza deaths are required to be reported to the State Department of Health and Senior Services. However, the Department has asked local and county health departments and hospitals to report any laboratory confirmed H1N1 deaths. That information is also reported to the CDC.

 

Including the six deaths being reported to the CDC today, a total of 10 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.

 

The Department has several tools available for New Jerseyans seeking an H1N1 flu shot.

 

First, Google Inc. has launched a flu shot finder to provide individuals with the locations of clinics that offer seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. This site can be accessed through the Department of Health and Senior Services website at http://nj.gov/health/flu/h1n1.shtml.  It allows the public to search by town, county and zip code to find flu shots at locations such as major retail pharmacies and supermarkets.  The site also includes the public health clinics that have been listed on the Department of Health and Senior Services’ “Find a Flu Shot” button. The website can also be accessed at www.google.com/flushot.

 

Second, individuals can contact their 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.  

 

Third, residents can find public health clinics by accessing the State’s “Find a Flu Shot” button. The flu shot locator is at www.state.nj.us/health/flu/findflushot.shtml.

 

Fourth, residents can call New Jersey’s H1N1 Information Hotline - 1-866-321-9571. Live operators are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. The hotline has answered 20,000 calls since it opened on Oct. 6.

 
 
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