flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to get a flu shot. One reason for the push is to reserve medical supplies needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC's Dr. Ram Koppaka says it's unclear how the flu will impact the pandemic:

"We have a safe and effective vaccine to prevent influenza that can protect individuals. It can also protect their communities, saving scarce medical resources that can be used to fight the pandemic."

Emergency Room Visits For Flu Are Up In Orange County

Sep 23, 2020
flu shot in arm
Hytallo Souza

There has been a “small increase” in the number of people visiting Orange County emergency rooms in recent days, the county’s top health official said Monday.

Dr. Raul Pino, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange, says these early cases suggest flu season is already in Central Florida and it’s time to get vaccinated.

With flu season rapidly approaching, medical professionals are warning of potentially high hospitalizations and deaths if precautions aren’t taken, when combined with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States.

With the annual flu season about to start, it's still unclear exactly how influenza virus will interact with the coronavirus if a person has both viruses.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Politifact Check: DeSantis Says COVID Lower Risk Than Flu For Kids

Aug 21, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis
Joe Byrnes / WMFE

Even as his state is a hotbed for COVID-19, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pushing schools to reopen so parents have the choice of sending children back to the classroom or keeping them home to learn virtually.

The Republican governor has said children without any underlying health conditions would benefit from in-person learning and the stimulation and companionship of being among other young people. He has also made clear that he thinks these benefits far outweigh what he considers to be minimal risks.

Get set for 2020's mega-campaign against the flu amid the COVID-19 pandemic: immunization drives in the parking lots of churches and supermarkets, curbside inoculations outside doctors' offices, socially distanced vaccine appointments held indoors, with breaks in between for disinfecting.

These are just some of the ways heath providers say they will give tens of millions of flu shots this fall — arguably the most important U.S. effort to prevent influenza's spread among Americans in a century.

Research shows Florida is different than the rest of the nation in terms of how our climate impacts flu transmission.

While influenza is not equivalent to COVID-19, it’s a good case study in how the coronavirus might progress.

So researchers, like Florida State University associate professor Chris Uejio, have been looking into it.

Sarah King isn't afraid of having the flu — in fact, she considers herself an "excellent sick person."

"I have a pretty high pain tolerance," King says. "I'm not a person that whines a lot. I just kind of suck it up."

So when she heard about a medical study that pays volunteers about $3,000 to be infected with the live flu virus, King thought the offer sounded too good to pass up. Last fall, she checked in for a 10-day stay at Saint Louis University's "Hotel Influenza," a quarantine unit where researchers study how the human immune system fights the flu.

Flu A Bigger Worry In Florida Than Coronavirus, USF Doctor Tells Lawmakers

Feb 19, 2020
WHO says people without symptoms probably account for about 6 percent of spread of the coronavirus, at most.
iStock

The flu remains a far deadlier illness to worry about in Florida than the coronavirus, state lawmakers were told on Tuesday.

While the coronavirus that started in China has spawned massive media attention --- and reams of misinformation --- Tampa General Hospital physician and University of South Florida faculty member John Sinnott said the state has more pressing health risks right now.

“Influenza is the elephant in the room no one is talking about,” Sinnott told members of the Senate Health Policy Committee. “It’s killing people.”

Wash Those Hands! Flu Activity Is On The Rise In Central Florida

Dec 17, 2019

The Florida Department of Health says two children are the state’s first fatalities from the flu during the 2019 season. Both children were unvaccinated.

Health leaders declined to release any more information about the children, including their ages or locations.

In Central Florida flu activity increased between the last week of November and the first week of December.

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is observing National Influenza Vaccination Week on Wednesday, Dec. 4 with free flu shots for residents.

Efforts To Move The Needle On Flu Shot Rates Get Stuck

Nov 21, 2019
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It’s free and available everywhere. Yet most Americans skip the annual flu shot ― with the number of dispensed vaccines barely changed in the past decade, despite government removal of cost and access obstacles. 

Pharmacists Could Get Power To Treat Flu, Strep

Nov 14, 2019
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

In an attempt to increase access to health care, a House panel on Wednesday approved a proposal that would authorize pharmacists to test patients for --- and treat --- the flu and strep throat. 

October marks the start of a new flu season, with a rise in likely cases already showing up in Louisiana and other spots, federal statistics show.

The advice from federal health officials remains clear and consistent: Get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, especially if you're pregnant or have asthma or another underlying condition that makes you more likely to catch a bad case.

Need another reason to get the flu shot if you're pregnant?

A study out this week shows that pregnant women with the flu who are hospitalized in an intensive care unit are four times more likely to deliver babies prematurely and four and a half times more likely to have a baby of low birth weight.

It's that time of year again. You wake up with a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, a little achy — maybe a fever. Is it a classic head cold, or do you need to be more concerned? Could it be the flu?

child receives a shot in the arm
iStock

Experts say the number of flu cases could rise over the holidays as people share germs along with turkey dinners. A flu shot and good hygiene practices are crucial to staying healthy.

The flu season is not yet in full swing, but more than one-third of U.S. parents already plan to skip flu shots for their kids this year, according to a report published Monday by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital of the University of Michigan.

According to the study, 34 percent of parents are “unlikely” to get the flu vaccine for their children.

U.S. OKs First New Type Of Flu Drug In 2 Decades

Oct 25, 2018
Flu.gov

U.S. health regulators have approved the first new type of flu drug in two decades.

Wednesday's approval of Xofluza for people age 12 and older comes ahead of the brunt of this winter's flu season.

child receives a shot in the arm
iStock

Florida health officials say a child is the first to die during this year's flu season.

80,000 People Died Of Flu Last Winter In U.S.

Sep 27, 2018
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter — the disease's highest death toll in at least four decades.

It's almost flu season, and young Floridians are not as protected as they should be. According to a new analysis, almost half of Florida's high school students reported they didn't get a flu shot within the past year.

"I would say I'm a bit frustrated," said Dr. Wissam Al Khoury, the lead researcher on the study, Demographic Differences in Flu Vaccination among Florida’s High School Students: Evidence from 2017 Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which he recently presented at a conference at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

A hundred years ago, the world was struck by a nightmare scenario.

World War I was still raging. And then a suspicious disease appeared.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A state pharmacy board on Monday criticized the Florida Legislature for not passing a bill that would have allowed Florida pharmacists to test and treat people for the flu and strep throat.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The flu descended on Connie Gabaldon like a fog, she recalled, clouding her mind and compromising her judgment. It progressed to chest and back pain, the aches perhaps made worse by a fall the 66-year-old had while riding the bus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Gabaldon is homeless. When she went to the emergency room in late January, doctors told her she also had pneumonia, a sinus infection and the flu.

The Associated Press

A Florida teen who was initially diagnosed with the flu is now being treated for cancer.

Skunk Bear / YouTube

It's shaping up to be one of the worst flu seasons in years.

If you are one of the thousands of Americans who are sick with the flu, this one's for you.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This nasty flu season, which has been worsening for months, may finally be leveling off.

Federal health officials say that, as they anticipated, the flu vaccine isn't very effective this year — but they say it has still prevented thousands of serious illnesses and deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures that, overall, the flu vaccine is 36 percent effective at preventing disease. One bright point for parents of young kids: Children ages 6 months to 8 years responded significantly better to the vaccine than older Americans.

Pages