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 29-30: July 19 to August 1, 2015
National Influenza activity
- In Minnesota, the first case of human infection with influenza A H3N2 variant virus (H3N2v) in the US in 2015 (week 29) occurred after direct exposure to swine. No evidence of human-to-human transmission of H3N2v or any influenza-like illness among the case’s contacts was reported. Swine influenza viruses do not normally infect humans, although sporadic human infections with swine influenza viruses (e.g. H3N2v, H1N1v, H1N2v) have occurred. More information is available from the CDC. Information on Swine Influenza/Variant Influenza Viruses
- Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 viruses have been identified in U.S. backyard and commercial flocks of birds during the spring and summer of 2015. HPAI H5 has not been identified in Florida birds, but identifications are anticipated. No humans have been identified with HPAI infection in Florida or the rest of the nation. Visit the DOH's Novel Influenza Virus page to learn more about HPAI.
State influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity:
- Emergency department (ED) and urgent care center (UCC) ILI visits reported into ESSENCE-FL (Florida’s syndromic surveillance system) remain low, which is typical for this time of year.
- In week 31, the preliminary estimated number of deaths due to pneumonia and influenza in Florida is slightly higher than levels seen in previous years at this time.
- In weeks 31 and 32, 20 specimens were submitted to Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL) for influenza testing. Two specimens (19%) tested positive for influenza A (H3) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
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
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