Twenty counties across the state of Florida reported moderate seasonal flu activity for the first week in January with emergency rooms in the Panhandle, Central and South Florida experiencing higher than normal cases of flu-like illnesses.
Flu season typically peaks here in late January and early February.
Because it takes up to a few weeks to positively identify the particular virus causing these illnesses, there is a lag time until the CDC reports the actual number caused by the influenza virus. In addition, many people with mild disease don’t go to a doctor so they are never tested to see if their illness is actually seasonal flu.
According to the Florida Department of Health, Orange County reported 19 staff in a nursing home with flu like illness. There were also two pediatric influenza associated deaths
It is still not too late to get the flu vaccine. According to the CDC, this year’s vaccine is about 60 percent effective which means that even among those who have been vaccinated, 4 out of 10 who are also exposed to the virus will become infected. Generally, though, they will have a milder illness.
To learn where to get the vaccine in Florida, check out this website