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Weeks 21-22: May 20-June 2, 2018

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

• Influenza continues to circulate at low levels across the state. While activity has remained low overall, it is important to
note that influenza continues to circulate throughout the summer months in Florida and may cause outbreaks.

Over the past two weeks (21-22), the percent of emergency department (ED) and urgent care center (UCC) visits for ILI
increased and was slightly above levels observed during the previous three seasons at this time.

• No new outbreaks of influenza or ILI were reported over the past two weeks; 507 outbreaks of influenza and ILI have been
reported since the start of the 2017-18 season. Week 21 marks the first week since the start of the 2017-18 season where
no outbreaks were reported.

• In week 21, the preliminary estimated number of deaths due to pneumonia and influenza decreased and was below levels
observed in previous seasons at this time.

• No new influenza-associated pediatric deaths were confirmed in weeks 21-22.

• Eight influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been confirmed since the start of the 2017-18 influenza season. The
number of confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths ranged from three to 11 during the past five influenza
seasons. Annual vaccination remains the best way to protect children against influenza.

• In weeks 21-22, 13 (48.2%) of the 27 specimens submitted to the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL) for influenza
testing were positive by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for influenza: four influenza A
(2009) H1N1, one influenza A (H3), one influenza A unspecified, five influenza B Yamagata lineage, one influenza B Victoria
lineage, and one influenza B unspecified.

National influenza activity:

• Influenza activity decreased and remained below the national baseline.

• While influenza A (H3) viruses predominated overall for the 2017-18 season, influenza B viruses have been more commonly
reported than influenza A since early-March. This late-season circulation of influenza B is expected.

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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