flu season

We're well into flu season and South Floridians are feeling it.

The Florida Department of Health tracks new flu cases and outbreaks, and according to its weekly report, flu is on the rise in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties. And while most of Florida is reporting new flu cases, the rates appear stable in Broward and even dropping in Palm Beach.

Florida Department of Health

All three of the flu outbreaks that have been reported in Florida so far this season occurred in Hillsborough County, according to the state.

iStock

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

Last year about 80,000 people in the United States died from the flu. Department of Health epidemiologist Jennifer Roth explained that the flu season begins in October and runs until May. She shared some insight about the virus and how to prevent it with WGCU's Andrea Perdomo.


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.

Students in Duval and Clay counties who did not get a flu shot at school last fall will have another vaccination opportunity next week.

Pensacola ER Nurse In Viral Video: 'Wash Your Stinking Hands'

Feb 4, 2018
Facebook

A nurse's Facebook rant about the "cesspool of funky flu" in a Pensacola area emergency room waiting areas is getting a lot of attention.

The current flu season is still getting worse, federal health officials said Friday. And it continues to take a toll on children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional 16 flu deaths among children, bringing the nationwide total this season for youngsters to 53.

Bay County health officials say they’re ready to start administering flu vaccines for local kids again. The health department ran out of the vaccine earlier this week.

Marian Smith somehow missed getting a flu shot this year, which is unlike her — in the past, she always got one.

The 58-year-old Washington D.C. resident says it was easier to remember to get it when the vaccine was provided at a clinic at work. But now the clinic is a bus ride away, and getting the shot wasn't at the top of her mind.

"Of course, I could get it right here at the grocery store," Smith tells NPR, as she rushes to pick up her lunch. "But I just didn't get it — I don't know, I can't tell you why."

Gulf County Schools To Close For Flu Friday

Jan 26, 2018

The Gulf County School district announced schools would be closed Friday, January 26. It’s the latest sign of a harsh flu season.

Miami Herald

The flu season in the U.S. is getting worse.

A particularly bad flu virus is burning through Florida and health officials say people can still protect themselves—and others.

“Getting vaccinated can prevent flu in yourself, but it also may prevent flu in people who you are not infecting,” says Dr. Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist with the influenza division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Especially for young children or people who are at high risk of flu, it's very important that people around them are vaccinated.”

The percentage of Florida’s population properly inoculated against the flu is far lower than federal health officials recommend, according to a new report.

The Sunshine State has the 12th lowest vaccination rate in the country.


Health officials say the United States could have a harsher than usual flu season, and is already showing influenza activity above the national baseline for the first time this season.

Health officials are warning that the United States may have an unusually harsh flu season this year.

But they stress that flu seasons are notoriously difficult to predict, and it's far too early to know for sure what may happen.

Flu season is getting underway and health officials at all levels are sending out the word for people to get their vaccinations.

During the first week of the 2017-18 season – October 1-7 -- influenza activity remained at low levels across Florida. But it’s expected to increase heading into the fall and winter months.

“We usually say beginning at the end of September through the end of April,” says Dr. John Lanza, Director of the Florida Department of Health-Escambia County.

This year, the flu season is expected to be among one of the worst to hit the United States.   

January is usually the midway point of the flu season in Florida. The state Department of Health reports that levels of the disease remained elevated overall for a second consecutive week.

Mild influenza activity was reported in 51 counties, including Escambia and Santa Rosa, during the week of January 1-7, the latest available figures. Ten counties reported moderate influenza activity, and six reported no activity.

Yes, It Is Possible To Get Your Flu Shot Too Soon

Sep 15, 2016

The pitches from pharmacy chains started in August: Come in and get your flu shot.

Convenience is touted. So are incentives. CVS offers a 20-percent-off shopping pass for everyone who gets a shot, while Walgreens donates toward international vaccination efforts.

The start of flu season is still weeks, if not months, away. Yet marketing of the vaccine has become an almost year-round effort that starts when the shots become available in August and is hyped as long as the supply lasts — often into April or May.

The Associated Press

Florida health officials said it's been a mild flu season so far, unlike the last three seasons when doctor offices were filled with patients before Christmas and illnesses peaked by late December.

The Associated Press

In the midst of a worrisome flu season, health officials are pushing doctors to prescribe antiviral medicines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday sent a new alert to doctors, advising prompt use of Tamiflu and other antivirals for hospitalized flu patients and those at higher risk for complications like pneumonia.CDC research suggests doctors prescribe antivirals to one in five high-risk flu patients. CDC officials say the number should be higher.

Flu Season Off to Early Start This Year

Dec 9, 2014
The Associated Press

Florida’s flu season is off to an early start this year.

The Florida Department of Health says flu activity is highest in kids, but widespread across all age groups.

Two flu-related deaths among children have been reported so far.

This year’s common flu virus has changed slightly from past seasons, and the vaccine available now is not quite as effective against the current strain.

However, getting vaccinated is still recommended, as it can still help prevent the worst flu symptoms.

The flu vaccine may not be very effective this winter, according to U.S. health officials, who worry this may lead to more serious illnesses and deaths.

Flu season has begun to ramp up, and officials say the vaccine does not protect well against the dominant strain seen most commonly so far this year. That strain tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations, especially in the elderly.

A Brevard County woman has died and two other people in the county are in critical condition from the flu. The unidentified woman, who was in her mid-30s, died Sunday at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

U.S. health officials have announced that two new flu vaccines that can protect against four flu strains will be introduced this year.  In addition, a new egg-free vaccine will be available for adults with allergies ages 18 through 49, the Orlando Sentinel reports.  There are other vaccine options for the elderly and needle-phobes.