At the beginning of March, influenza levels were low in all parts of New Jersey and many people thought flu season was over, but that has not turned out to be the case.

Dr. Tina Tan, the New Jersey state epidemiologist, said the latest surveillance data shows flu cases are once again on the rise, with the highest levels of activity in North Jersey.

Tan pointed out that late March usually coincides with a decline in flu activity, "so it definitely is unusual that we are starting to see flu increase at this time of the year.”

Why is this happening?

Tan said no one knows for sure because flu is very unpredictable but steps that were taken to protect against COVID also helped to prevent the spread of influenza.

“When some of the restrictions related to masking were lifted, that might have taken away some of that level of protection," she said. “Because of the unpredictability of flu, from time to time we do see blips like this, so flu is definitely still here. We’re still in the middle of flu season.”

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When will flu season end?

She noted it’s unclear how long we are going to see influenza activity continue to increase.

“As long as influenza is circulating, it’s definitely not too late to get the vaccine," she said. “We know that flu vaccine can help prevent most serious illnesses that can result in hospitalization and death.”

The uptick in flu cases is not only happening in New Jersey, but in many other areas across the nation right now.

 

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Best coffee shops & cafes near NJ beaches

When it comes to food, New Jersey is known for many things such as pizza and pork roll. Don't count us out when it comes to coffee.

With all the hustle and bustle involved in the average New Jersey resident's day, coffee is essential. It doesn't matter whether you're living in the cities of North Jersey or the vacation spots at the shore.

In fact, as the former owner of two Jersey shore coffee houses, Coffee Dot Comedy in Sea Isle City and the Daily Grind in Ocean Grove, I know firsthand how much people at the Jersey shore love their coffee.

With respect to that, I asked my social media following where the best coffee houses at the Jersey Shore were, especially since my two places no longer exist.

Below is what they came up with. (And see this other article for their coffee shop and cafe recommendations for Central Jersey.)

2022 Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge photos

More than 6,000 people took the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 26, 2022 to raise more than $2 million for the Special Olympics New Jersey.