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Weeks 35-36: August 26–September 8, 2018

State influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity:

Influenza activity remains low statewide. Modest increases are expected over the coming weeks as we approach the start of the traditional influenza season..

 No new outbreaks were reported over the last two weeks (35-36); 512 outbreaks of influenza and ILI have been reported since October 2017. Additional outbreaks are expected in the coming weeks.

No new influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported in weeks 35-36. Eight influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been confirmed since the start of the 2017-18 influenza season. Annual vaccination remains the best way to protect children against influenza.

• In weeks 35-36, 6 (31.6%) of the 19 specimens submitted to the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories for influenza testing were positive by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for influenza: 3 influenza A 2009 (H1N1), 1 influenza B Yamagata lineage, 1 influenza A unspecified, and 1 influenza B unspecified.

National influenza activity:

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to report influenza viruses circulating at low levels nationally. Consistent with trends observed in Florida, influenza A viruses have continued to predominate since early July, with the majority of the subtyped influenza A viruses being influenza A 2009 (H1N1). CDC has received reports of localized outbreaks across the United States, which is expected for this time of year. The majority of these outbreaks were caused by influenza A 2009 (H1N1).


• On August 24, 2018, CDC published a report with recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the prevention and control of seasonal influenza with vaccines for the upcoming 2018-19 influenza season in the United States. For more information, please visit::

• Influenza vaccines protect against the three or four influenza viruses that research suggest will be most common. It is expected that influenza A 2009 (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2), and influenza B viruses will co-circulate during the upcoming season; influenza vaccines are designed to protect against all of these viruses.

The Florida Department of Health recommends you get vaccinated for influenza by the end of October.

Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory infection caused by a variety of flu viruses. The "flu" is a common catch-all term used for a variety of illnesses, but it correctly applies only to the upper respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus. To locate a flu shot near you, contact your physician, your local county health department, or use the Florida Department of Health's flu shot locator.

Estimates are that between 15% and 40% of the population will develop illness from influenza every year. An average of about 36,000 people per year in the United States die from influenza, and 114,000 per year have to be admitted to the hospital as a result of influenza infection. Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems from influenza can happen at any age. People age 65 years and older, people of any age with chronic medical conditions, and very young children are more likely to get complications from influenza.

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