With every county in New Jersey battling high levels of influenza, the federal government is increasing availability of the antiviral medication Tamiflu.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will release Tamiflu from the Strategic National Stockpile to states that request it.

HHS said it can make the move without "affecting our nation's preparedness for a future pandemic flu."

"The country is more prepared for this surge because the SNS holds strategic stores of Tamiflu," said Dawn O'Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response. "As a result, jurisdictions will be able to get the support they need to keep Americans healthy as flu cases rise this winter."

Tamiflu is crafted to treat kids and adults who have had flu symptoms for no longer than 48 hours. The prescription drug is in high demand as doctor's offices and hospitals deal with a surge in flu cases.

According to a weekly report from the New Jersey Department of Health, influenza activity was high statewide as of Dec. 25.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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