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.”

Sick woman coughing with pain

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.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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