Flu Continues to Linger in Florida

In other parts of the country the flu is still a threat in the sunshine state. The good news is it's not too late to get your flu shot.

Nurse practitioner Janelle Baker says her waiting room has been full over the last few weeks with people suffering with flu symptoms, and complications can be deadly. The flu has killed at least four children in Florida this season.

Although flu is waning around the country, it remains widespread in Florida, and that's got state health officials worried. Florida's flu season starts later and peaks later than other states.

Visitors seeking warm weather bring the flu with them. The most recent numbers show flu activity on the rise in about half the counties.

Dr. Joann Schulte of the Florida Department of Health says it will likely get worse before it gets better.

“We really do want people to get vaccinated if they're high-risk. We think there's still life left in the flu unfortunately,” says Dr. JoAnn Schulte of the Florida Department of Health.

The good news is 11,000 doses of flu vaccine for young children went out across the state earlier this month, and 17,000 doses for adults should be available by the week after next. Nurse baker says better late than never.

Florida's flu season runs until early March. Here are the counties with the highest percentage of patients reporting flu-like illness at the state's "sentinel" clinics. Stats are current as of December 27, and are probably higher now.

Leon: 31%
Indian river: 22%
Pasco: 22%
Brevard: 19%
Polk: 18%
Sarasota: 15%
Palm beach: 10%
Monroe: 8%
Orange: 7%
Miami-Dade: 6%
Alachua: 5%
Broward: 4%
Lake: 3%
Marion: 3%
Martin: 2%
Pinellas: 2%
Okaloosa: 2%


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