Contact: Florida Health
State influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity:
In weeks 31-32, influenza and ILI activity remained low overall in Florida. Activity remained similar to levels observed at this time in past years.
In weeks 31-32, two new respiratory disease outbreaks were reported. Ten respiratory disease outbreaks have been reported since May 19, 2019 (when the traditional influenza season ended). Of those, five had laboratory evidence of influenza.
One new influenza-associated pediatric death was reported in weeks 31-32 in a child with underlying medical conditions who was partially vaccinated. The child tested positive for influenza A unspecified. Six influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported since the beginning of the 2018-19 season. Annual vaccination is the best way to protect children from influenza.
In weeks 31-32, two (10.5%) of the 19 specimens submitted to the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories for influenza testing were positive for influenza: one influenza A unspecified and one influenza B Victoria lineage.
Since March 2019, the percent of specimens testing positive for rhinovirus remained higher than other respiratory viruses under surveillance. For more information, see page 3.
In weeks 31-32, the percent of emergency department and urgent care center visits for ILI statewide was stable and remained similar to levels observed at this time in previous years.
The figure above shows the percent of visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) for facilities participating in ESSENCE-FL (n=354) statewide for the current year (week 40, 2018 to week 32, 2019) and the last three years (2017-18, 2016-17, and 2015-16). The ESSENCE-FL ILI syndrome captures visits with chief complaints that include the words “influenza” or “flu,” or chief complaints that include the words “fever” and “cough,” or “fever” and “sore throat.” For more information on the use of ESSENCE-FL for influenza and ILI surveillance, see page 4.
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