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.
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.
For the most current information about influenza in Florida, please see Florida's Weekly Surveillance Report, the Florida Flu Review.
Weeks 27-28: July 5 to July 18, 2015
National Influenza activity
- Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been identified in U.S. backyard and commercial flocks of birds. HPAI has not been identified in Florida birds, but identifications are anticipated. No people have been identified with HPAI in Florida or the rest of the nation. To learn more about HPAI, please visit: www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-from-animals/novel-influenza-viruses.html
State influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity:
- Emergency department (ED) and urgent care center (UCC) influenza-like illness (ILI) reported into ESSENCEFL (Florida’s syndromic surveillance system) visits have remained low, which is typical for this time of year.
- One influenza outbreak was reported in week 28 in Hillsborough County.
- In week 27, the preliminary estimated number of deaths due to pneumonia and influenza in Florida is higher than levels seen in previous years at this time.
- In weeks 27 and 28, ten specimens were submitted to Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL) for influenza testing. Two specimens (20%) tested PCR positive: one for influenza B Yamagata lineage and one for influenza A (2009 H1N1).
Summertime surveillance for influenza and ILI:
- FDOH continues to conduct surveillance for influenza and ILI during the summer months. While activity is traditionally lower during the summer months, some regions of Florida can see year-round activity and elevated out of season activity can suggest important changes in the virus or the introduction of a novel strain of influenza or respiratory illness. Continuing surveillance efforts supports quick response to those events.
For more information about Avian Influenza (H7N9), please click here: Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
New! Long-Term Care Facility Administrators Letter
New! Long-Term Care Faciltiy Administrators Guidance
New! 2014-15 Letter and Guidance to Physicians(December 5, 2014)
New! Guidance for Health Care Providers (December 5, 2014)
New! Sample Letter To Parents (December 5, 2014)
New! Letter to Schools (December 5, 2014)
Letter to Providers: Influenza Prevention (March 14, 2014)
Letter to Providers: Pregnant Women and Influenza Vaccination Recommendations (December 17, 2013)
Press Release: DOH Reminds Pregnant Woman that Flu Vaccination is Important (December 12, 2013)
Antiviral Usage: Influenza
Influenza Fact Sheet for Home
Influenza General Public Fact Sheet
Florida Influenza Weekly Surveillance (Flu Review)
Florida Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network
Guidelines for the Flu Lab Report in Merlin
The Flu In the United States (CDC)
Press Release (December 28, 2010)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Information for Directors of Long-Term Care Facilities
Novel Influenza A H1N1 Outbreak: Florida Response Satellite Broadcast
*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files. All documents on this page are PDFs under 1 MB unless otherwise noted, and open in a new window.