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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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Influenza

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

Influenza
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 15, 2014 Florida Flu Review Surveillance Summary


National:

  • Influenza activity continues to decline nationally. In certain parts of the county, activity remains elevated.
     
  • The predominantly circulating strain this year continues to be influenza A (2009 H1N1). 
     
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to recommend vaccination as long as influenza viruses are circulating. 

State:

  • This season, FDOH has received reports of severe influenza illness, including hospitalizations, requiring intensive care unit (ICU) care among pregnant women.
    • None of these women had received the 2013-2014 influenza vaccine.   
       
  • Most Florida counties are reporting mild influenza activity. In week 15, 34 counties reported decreasing influenza activity; 29 counties indicated activity is at a plateau.
  • Emergency department (ED) and urgent care center (UCC) influenza-like illness (ILI) visits have decreased in recent weeks and is as expected for this time of year; preliminary data suggest that the influenza season has peaked.
  •  In Florida, the most common influenza subtype detected at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL) in recent weeks has been influenza A (2009 H1N1).
    • In week 15, 2 of 15 specimens submitted for influenza testing at BPHL were PCR positive for influenza. Both were PCR positive for influenza B. This is a seasonal strain of influenza.
    • Nationally (including Florida), almost all circulating influenza is a good match for the vaccine.
  • One influenza or ILI outbreaks (epidemiologically-linked cases of influenza in a single setting) were reported to EpiCom in a Jackson county household in week 15. 
  • No pediatric influenza-associated deaths were reported in week 15. Four pediatric influenza-associated deaths have been reported in the 2013-2014 season.
  • The preliminary estimated number of Florida deaths due to pneumonia or influenza in week 14 is lower than the seasonal baseline, based on previous years’ data. Estimated deaths due to pneumonia and influenza are identified using preliminary death certificate data.
  • Because of sporadic influenza activity in some areas of the state, Florida reported sporadic influenza activity to CDC in week 15. This activity level represents the geographic spread of influenza in Florida.  

 

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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
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