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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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For more information about Avian Influenza (H7N9), please click here: Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

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.

Week 33-34, 2014 Florida Flu Review Surveillance Summary

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

  • In weeks 18, and 19, respectively, the first and second cases of MERS were indentified in Indiana and Florida travelers returning from the Middle East. More information can be found on the Florida Department of Health and CDC MERS webapges. 
  • There is no evidence that the Indiana and Florida cases are epidemiology linked to one another. There is no evidence of sustained community wide transmission of MERS. The MERS situation in the United States respresents a very low risk to the general public in this country.


  • Influenza activity continues to circulate at low levels nationally.
  • The predominantly circulating strain this year continues to be influenza B, which is typical for this time of year. 
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to recommend vaccination as long as influenza viruses are circulating. 

    • Nationally (including Florida), almost all circulating influenza is a good match for the vaccine.


  • Emergency department (ED) and urgent care center (UCC) influenza-like illness (ILI) visits have remained low, which is typical for this time of year; current data suggest that the influenza season peaked during weeks 52-7.
  • In weeks 33 and 34, 19 specimens were submitted for influenza testing at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL). Three specimens tested PCR positive: all for influenza A (H3).
  • In week 33, the preliminary estimated number of deaths due to pneumonia or influenza in Florida is lower than the seasonal baseline, based on previous year's data. Estimated deaths due to pneumonia and influenza are identified using preliminary death certificate data viewed in ESSENCE-FL.

New! 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
Pandemic Influenza