For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
At UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Two Flu Cases Kick Off 2005-06 Winter Season For Tri-State Residents
-UMDNJ Physician Advises Residents to Get Flu Shots Early, Take Precautions-
10/24/05—The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) has already treated its first
two patients with influenza, and a UMDNJ physician is advising residents to get vaccinated early
to safeguard themselves against what could be a long flu season.
"The flu season usually peaks in February or March, but it can strike early and that's why we
advise people to get vaccinated early, especially people over age 65 or with chronic health
conditions, pregnant women, children six months to two years old, residents of long-term care
facilities and health care personnel," said Dr. Lawrence D. Budnik, associate professor of
medicine at the UMDN-New Jersey Medical School in Newark. He said the two patients treated
at UMDNJ-University Hospital had influenza A, the most common form of the flu.
"If you get the flu, the best thing to do is stay home, get rest and drink plenty of fluids. And
those who contract the flu should protect others around them by covering their mouths when they
cough and washing their hands frequently to avoid spreading the bacteria."
Dr. Budnik noted that the flu is a virus infection that doesn't respond to prescription antibiotics.
There are, however, prescription medications that may be prescribed for treatment including
oseltamivir, zanamivir, amantadine and rimantidine. If antibiotics are prescribed, it is to treat
secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
He cautioned parents that children should never be given aspirin to treat flu symptoms because it
could seriously damage their kidneys. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are appropriate alternatives.
To arrange an interview to discuss the flu with Dr. Budnik, call Tom Capezzuto of the UMDNJ
News Service at (973) 972-7273.