Contact: Florida Health
State influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity:
In weeks 23-24, ILI activity decreased. Levels were similar to those observed at this time in past years. Influenza viruses continued to circulate at low levels.
In weeks 23-24, three respiratory outbreaks were reported. Six influenza or other respiratory disease outbreaks have been reported since May 19, 2019 (when the traditional influenza season ended).
One new influenza-associated pediatric death was reported in weeks 23-24 in an unvaccinated child with no known underlying medical conditions. The child tested positive for influenza A (H3) and expired earlier in the season. Five influenzaassociated pediatric deaths have been reported since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, all in unvaccinated children. Annual vaccination is the best way to protect children from influenza.
In week 23-24, four (44.4%) of the nine specimens submitted to the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories for influenza testing were positive for influenza: one influenza A unspecified and three influenza B unspecified.
Since March 2019, the percent of specimens testing positive for rhinovirus remained higher than other respiratory viruses under surveillance (including influenza). For more information, see page 3.
In weeks 23-24, the percent of emergency department and urgent care center visits for ILI statewide decreased. ILI activity over the past few weeks decreased overall and was 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=349) statewide for the current year (week 40, 2018 to week 24, 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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