After a relatively slow start to flu season, influenza activity is now widespread in almost half of the United States.
"What I can tell you is that the people who have been hospitalized and the deaths that were associated with the flu this year are people who have not been immunized, a majority of them have not been immunized", said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health for New Brunswick.
The CDC says the number of states experiencing widespread flu activity has now doubled to 24, that includes Pennsylvania and Delaware.
It's been less severe so far this year, but federal health officials say they're now seeing sharp increases in flu activity nationwide.
The dominating virus this flu season is H1N1, which tends to impact young healthy adults and children.
However, this year's flu vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu.
"It can prevent you from getting sick, and even if you do get sick with influenza, it can prevent you from having to go into the hospital".
In this area, Pennsylvania has more than 6,400 positive flu cases, New Jersey has 439 and DE has 461. (Lab-confirmed cases represent a small percentage of all flu cases, often just the ones that require hospitalization).
Twenty-four states and Guam were reporting widespread influenza activity - meaning the virus has spread to many parts of the state, regardless of severity - as of December 29, the latest date included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) weekly flu report. According to the hospital's press release, the ban will take effect on Wednesday and last "for the remainder of this flu season".
"We know this change may be hard for some of our patient families", the hospital's news release said.
Cases of influenza are continuing to ramp up across the country, with kids and teens bearing much of the brunt of the dreaded winter bug, say infectious diseases experts, predicting that the peak of the annual sneezing-coughing-feeling-miserable season is likely still several weeks away.
"So there is no reason why people should not get the flu shot this year".