Monmouth County Health Department: Coronavirus and Seasonal Influenza Update

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monmouth county health department

Coronavirus and Seasonal Influenza

Coronavirus and Seasonal Influenza

Coronavirus Outbreak

In December of 2019 a previously unknown (novel) coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. This virus, which has seen limited person-to-person spread outside of China, has now been reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States.  While outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern, it is important to recognize that Public Health agencies around the world from the World Health Organization, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC,) and more locally the New Jersey State Department of Health and the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD) are closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation. Many precautions have already been put into place.


At the time of this report, there are no confirmed cases in New Jersey and the risk of 2019-nCoV infection is considered low. A 24-hour public hotline has been set up to answer questions about coronavirus, (800) 222-1222.


Through the links provided above, the Monmouth County Health Department’s intent is to provide our residents with accurate and up to date information on this rapidly changing landscape. 


2020 Seasonal Flu Activity

Although 2019-nCoV is significant, closer to home, influenza is of far greater immediate concern.  Influenza (seasonal flu) is prevalent in the community and influenza activity in the State of N.J. is currently high.  For the 2019-2020 Flu season, CDC estimates that so far there have been at least 19 million flu illness resulting in 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths from flu. MCHD reminds our residents that it is never too late to get a flu shot. A flu shot can prevent or lessen the symptoms of influenza.  If you have not received your flu shot for this season, please do not hesitate to contact this office at 732-431-7456.


Finally, MCHD recommends that the public stay informed.  CDC is updating its website daily with the latest information and advice for the public.  Please remember to take everyday preventive actions that are always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including Seasonal Influenza and 2019-nCoV:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
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  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.

If you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone with 2019-nCoV in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Board of Health Members

Brian Charnick, Acting President 
Ellynn Kahle
Ross Licitra
Andrew Wardell


Freeholder Deputy Director
Susan M. Kiley, Liaison 

Christopher P. Merkel M.P.H., H.O.

Public Health Coordinator

Board of Health Meetings

Board of Health Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., unless otherwise specified in our Calendar of Events. The meetings take place in the Small Conference Room of the Monmouth County Health Department, 50 East Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728


Monmouth County Seal 2018